BY TOM CALLAHAN
Millions of us grew up on the Southern rock/blues sounds of the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. We came to love the guitar work the embodied that genre from Duane Allman to Warren Hayes and Derek Trucks. Well, listen to “Thought I Had It All”–the opening track of the latest by Damon Fowler, Sounds of Home–and the classic slide guitar and laid back vocals tell you immediately that you have gone south of the Mason Dixon line.
Fowler is not a household name like those other famous Southern guitarists, but this Florida native is firmly in their tradition. In 2011 he teamed up with fellow guitarist JP Soars and keyboardist Victor Wainwright to form Southern Hospitality, which soon became a hit on tour and released the CD Easy Livin’ on Blind Pig. That release was one of my favorite of the year.
Sounds of Home is Fowler’s third solo outing for Bling Pig and he chose as his producer the great Louisiana swamp blues master Tab Benoit. The result is a solid effort that any fan of Southern rock will enjoy. The album goes from the country tinged blues of “Old Fools, Bar Stools, And Me” to the swampy blues shuffle of “Grit My Teeth” to a Southern ballet like “Do It for the Love.” All feature Fowler’s intense guitar work and measured vocal delivery. Add in a great slide workout on the cover of Johnny Winter’s classic “TV Mama” and a great cover of Elvis Costello’s hit “Alison” and this is more than just a solid effort. It is a fun CD from an artist working in the tradition of this great music.
Sounds of Home may not be the original Skynyrd, but who is? What is it is a worth addition to the collection of anybody who loves Southern rock/blues.
DOWNLOAD: “Thought I Had It All” “TV Mama” and “Where I Belong.”