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Friday, June 19, 2009

Damon Fowler

Sugar Shack (Blind Pig)

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In an era when individual songs, rather than albums, are the preferred choice of many music consumers, it seems no longer necessary, or even desired, for an album to be stylistically consistent and cohesive. Perhaps to adapt to a changed market, record companies previously known for promoting one type of music have been diversifying, which may be liberating for musicians who prefer to record a variety of songs.

Florida singer/guitarist Damon Fowler's new album is unified in its focus on romantic relations and the complexities associated with attaining and losing them. However, musically, the songs contain elements of different genres, including blues, country and Southern rock. There are the blues songs that combine Fowler's adept slide guitar with repetitious, rhythm-heavy backup reminiscent of North Mississippi blues, such as "Sugar Lee" and "I Hope It's Gonna Rain." Also represented is the blues rock of "Lonely Blues" and the title track, the merging of country and blues in "VFW" and the country rock renditions of the three covers of Merle Haggard, The Amazing Rhythm Aces and Billy Joe Shaver.

Sugar Shack shows that there are enough connections between each type of American music to make record bins obsolete in more ways than one.