PROFESSOR DOUG BELL & FRIENDS – THE ROAD TO DEL RIO – REVIEW BY A.J. WACHTEL
PROFESSOR DOUG BELL & FRIENDS
The Road to Del Rio
© Copyright – Doug Bell / Bellevue Cadillac Records (888174158181)
Bellevue Cadillac Records
This cool collection of cuts is more Memphis than Chicago and more Stax/Volt than Alligator Records. And there are three distinctly different branches of the same musical tree present from start to finish. They are: Southern Americana tinged r & b, a Sunday morning Gospel Church Choir sound and auto-biographical ballads sung with emotional, powerful vocals that include a moody organ and horns. I really dig the twangy guitars on the uptempo “Mississippi Moolight” , and the rock and roll “Reckless”. The best of the ballads include “Nothing Ventured”, “Trainwreck” and the title track “Del Rio”. What I really like about the ballads is that they are all done with a campfire feel, not a schmaltzy feel, and without losing any of the passion necessarily required. “Henrietta Marie” and “All The Time In The World”, with the gospel female backing vocals added by Cassandre McKinley and Miss Marie have a spiritual sound which are perfectly suited for Doug’s soulful voice. All the tunes are composed by Doug and he plays guitar and national steel on this too. Jeremy Carter is also on guitar with Jeff Thompson drumming, Wolf Ginandes on four strings, and Tony Geraci on organ/piano. Matt Hubbard also plays organ along the way. Dimitrius Popodopoulos plays trumpet and Antonio Bolet adds his coral sitar . Great stuff. Play it loud.