Sad Boy Trouble
Wabash blues-rockers Sad Boy Trouble are back with the follow-up to last year's Can You Feel It? with Soul Searching, an all new collection of ten original songs sure to please their myriad long-term fans. Recorded in April 2002 by Neal Parnin and Wil Putt at Soundmill Studios, you can be certain that this is a top-notch production all the way around.
The album kicks off with "Free", an aggressive southern rocker that contains only the smallest hints of blues. A bit of Abby Road Beatles in the bridge and a classic rock guitar solo add variety to this great rocker. With an a cappella intro "Fortune's Fool" contains much in the way of 80's hard rock, which in this case is not a bad thing. The final track, "Inside", is a heavy amalgam of hard rock and blues with some scorching guitar work by Sad Boy that plays around with the meter just enough to shake things up. In the slow rock/ballad department are "Outside It's Warm" with nice vocal harmonies and a mini bass solo by Nevin White, and the relaxed acoustic "Stone Cutter" with guest Mark Olson on the 12-string guitar. As you would expect, the blues are represented many times over. "Ghosts" is a high-energy excursion with a wailing harmonica solo compliments of Jo Jo Dotlich and masterful drumming by Gary Kiefaber. The title track is a classic slow, sad blues song and "Sometimes" returns to an upbeat, jaunty blues with lots of harmonica sure to please blues aficionados.
Sad Boy Trouble continues to grow as performers, songwriters, and recording artists. Soul Searching captures their energy and sound to perfection with great sounding guitars, crisp drums, well-represented bass, not to mention their usual bevy of vocal treats. While this album is a bit more rock than blues over their past work, long-time fans will find much to enjoy. Available at Wooden Nickel, Borders, Reading Room Books in Wabash or one of Sad Boy Trouble's many live shows.
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, July 2002.