PopDose calls Organ Donor Blues, “11 tracks and no filler. The first sign that an album is good….top-notch arrangements being the second….(this album) fits the necessary requirements perfectly and then some." I have to agree. If Tom Petty had a horn section and lived in Tennessee this would be an amicable showing. You don’t hear Americana Rock with studly brass and bold backups very often if ever. John Velghe & The Prodigal Sons embodies the urgency of Townes Vanzandt in a package similar to Wilco. The album discusses social distance as well as relationship growth creating one great musical conversation.
Within these tracks is definitely a story worth hearing. You have to listen closely however because there are many layers to the sound just as there are many layers to our own life experiences. Some are bright while others are dark; some need time to fully appreciate where others are immediately satisfying.
“Beaten By Pretenders,” the first single, has received solid airplay and features some of Mike Alexander’s best guitar work in tandem with Velghe and Escovedo’s pure and true vocals. There is a subtle vulnerability in Escovedo’s voice on the chorus that juxtaposes this cheerful song with much more sad intention.
Each song on this record finds a way into your mind and latches on, which is something to attribute to their knack for giving you what you think you hear and then skimming off the top, breaking your expectations and sliding in that melancholy undertone that hits before you even see it coming.
The beat and bass line on “Gold Guitar” growl and plea while “Set It Fire” likens toward a Rolling Stones meets Beach Boys affair. Tight harmonies are key and ever present throughout the album. In the end, this is the kind of stuff that will last more than just a preliminary listen. I couldn’t wait to start it over.
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