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LATEST REVIEW........Review released in the July 23rd 2008 issue of Blues Blast......
Dallas Hodge - Reelin’
10 songs; 44:28 minutes; Meritable
Styles: Motor City Rock and Roll and Blues
"If a musical pedigree means anything toward a quality CD, then Dallas Hodge has the goods."
Since leaving the legendary CANNED HEAT, Dallas has pushed on with his Solo career, and with his own style of Motor City Rocking Rhythm and Blues. "People have told me that when they hear and see what I am all about, that I should share my music with the people. I have always played for the love of the music. Lord knows there are many other things you can do for money, but the music is always for the love!” Dallas says.
“Reelin’” is Dallas’s first solo CD, containing originals and reworked classics. “I recorded it to document who I am and what I do, more for my parents than anybody else....There was no attempt at making a ‘hit’ record, just good music,” Hodge wrote in April of this year. Well, Dallas should feel proud because that is exactly what he accomplished, and “good music” it is.
The set opener is “Divin’ Duck” which is basically Hodge’s arrangement and own take of “If the River Was Whiskey.” The mid-tempo blues starts with a pop from Tony Braunagel on drums and ivory tinkling by Rick Solem. Dallas’s whiskey-gruff vocals are nicely punctuated at the end of each sung line by album recorder and co-producer Tom Maclear on slide guitar. Hodge’s own gold top Les Paul guitar works above the Terry Wilson bass line, and Maclear and Solem take tasty mid song solos. The song works well to introduce what Hodge’s music is about and leaves the door open for surprises to come.
Track 2 gives us a big surprise, “Love Me Do” by the Beatles done slower in a completely original arrangement and style. He was 45 seconds into the song , before it hit me: Yumping Yiminy – that’s a Beatles’ song! The song opens with twin lead guitars played in harmony the way Elvin Bishop and Johnny Vernazzo used to do in Bishop’s Capricorn Records days. Making a full and lush sound, three horns harmonize with those guitars: David Woodford on sax, Lee Thornburg on trumpet, and Garrett Adkins on trombone. Before it all sinks in, the listener is whisked off into the nether by the up tempo track 3, “Take That Baby Home.”
Another change up is thrown our way with track 4, a re-work, with new lyrics, of Detroit friend Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind.” Titled “In the Wind,” the opening guitar switches to acoustic courtesy of Greg Beck. Skip Van Winkl plays Hammond B3 while another guest, Larry Zack, adds drums. Lamenting the loss of a friend, “Pops,” the song gets ethereal treatment from Maclear’s steel guitar and Solem’s piano.
Blues fans will enjoy Hodge’s take on an old BB King song, “Don’t Want Nobody.” Letting the little woman know that he knows what is going on, Hodge sings, “Tell the Carnation milk man not to leave no more milk. He’s been leavin’ too much cream lately, baby; may need to take some insurance on himself.” “Up the Country” gives a nod to Hodge’s Canned Heat days, but this version is at a slower tempo with outstanding slide guitar. Muddy Waters’ “Rock Me Babe” is given the Hodge treatment here. There was no need to re-invent the “wagon wheel,” just keep it rolling.
The title track and “Holiday” (by Catfish) are rock and rollers that showcase Hodge’s “Motor City” sound. “High Roller,” the other Catfish song, has a slow Southern rock style with slide guitar, road house piano, and backing vocals by Teresa James and Kelly “Kacee” Clanton.
Again, Hodge should be proud of this solid set of music showcasing what he does. While he wasn’t trying to create anything unique, there are enough surprises, thoughtful arrangements, and solid playing from guests and his own years’ experiences to make the CD interesting and enjoyable.
Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard each Thursday from 4:30 – 6:00pm on WKCC 91.1 FM in Kankakee, IL
Mon, 7 Jul 2008
From Przemek Draheim, Radio Host in Poland...... www.blues.pl/draheim
It’s here! Your CD has reached me yesterday safe and sound, thank you. It was sent from Germany, by Kai Gessler.
It was worth to wait for the album as it showcases you as a solid musician who knows a lot about American roots music. With deep blues, a little bit of country and some rock’n’roll “Reelin’” is enjoyable and leaves the listener asking for more. Your singing voice is strong and suits the chosen material very well, it’s perfect for roots music. With some tasty guitar playing and a tight band you have recorded a CD that is well worth seeking out!
It will be my pleasure to feature it on the air. I am sure my listeners will enjoy it.
Thank you again Dallas for the music. Best wishes,
Review at Rootstime.be
By Pieter Jan.......January 2008
" Reelin' ", the new CD of Dallas Hodge.
Hodge with his song Diving Duck, is in the genre of Traveling Riverside Blues (Robert Johnson, such as to retrieve on " Me & Mr. Johnson" of Eric Clapton). On this number piano man Rick Solem and his contribution on keys are featured.
Next is Hodge’s version of a very well known Beatles-song " Love me Do" , that he has transformed to a slow country music style of blues.
Hodge makes the change to immediately take you back up with " Take That baby Home" , an up-tempo swing in which Woodford,Thornburg and Adkins shine as the horn section. This song features a strong seasoned solo of Hodge in which they all rocket! " In The Wind" Hodge obviously sings about the loss of a good friend. “Don't Want Nobody”, Hodge writes and sings about a man who lets his spouse know how he feels about adultery. A type of song of which especially B.B. wrote some strong versions under the names " Outside Help" and " I Got Some help I Don't Need" (The iceman came by this morning and you know he didn' t leave no ice, the mail man came by later baby, and he didn' t just as ring twice… - a real must). " Up The Country" (Canned Heat-song) shines with the bottleneck slide work from Tom MacLear and the pianist Rick Solem does a fine job too. " Reelin'" and " Holiday" are songs for the engine of that Motorcity rockin' tradition for which Hodge is known. What a brilliant role for rock n' roll-pianist Rick Solem. " High Roller" - with choir like vocal backings - nicely swinging bluessong what can I say… " Rock me Babe" is a good re-make of the blues standard with which B.B. King has in his show. An unpretentious album made with a high musical quality. "For being from the "Motor City" this is an album that every blues lover must have in the car and listen.."Hodge and his band – rock it!
By: Brett Lemke - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dallas Hodge is a name that commands instantaneous stage presence. He's the bastard son of a Detroit roadhouse; born in the throes of late-night blues bands and primed in the house that built R&B guitar. "Reelin" is a stellar record that features brilliantly solid originals and reworked classics. Tom Maclear of Rod Stewart and Annie Lennox fame co-produced the album and takes care of the slide, pedal steel, mandolin and Dobro. Hodge gives a nod to Canned Heat and Little Feat with "Up The Country" and "High Roller" respectively; taking a stripped-down front porch approach for the former and a full gospel choir for the latter. Five stars from front to back!