I don't know if I'd call Harlis Sweetwater Band Orange County's best-kept secret. However, when you hear this band, you want to do your part to make sure it's not the best-kept secret in the county. This is a band that knows how to hook and entertain a listener. Take the first song "Goin' up the Mountain" for instance. Right off the bat, this band will have you stomping your feet to some great blues. And this song has everything: great slide guitar, a strong rhythm, horns, harmonica, and Harlis's growling vocals. Oh, and if you're looking for another song to get you moving, check out "Can't Make You Love Me". Everything about this song - especially the highlighted rhythm section in the middle of the song - will get your body moving.
"Coolant Blues" is a great song not only because it is a slow-burning blues jam, but also because it has the classic blues theme of a man thinking that his woman is trying to kill him. In this case, the narrator asks his woman for liquor, but finds it tastes like antifreeze. The harmonica in this tune is great, and so is the organ.
Harlis Sweetwater Band plays the kind of music that should be on every jukebox in every watering hole because it's a great accompaniment to a mug or four of ice-cold beer. If it were available on your favorite jukebox, you would want to play the album in its entirety because it would get you swaying on your barstool. And it would probably get you to order a few more rounds - not because you'd be drinking to forget something, but because you'd want to keep enjoying the music.
From lowdown blues to some upbeat tunes that will make you look for a dance partner, this album offers blues fans a healthy dose of what they love. If you like the blues even a little, you will love this album...and you will probably love the band's live performances even more. Harlis Sweetwater Band celebrates the release of Put It in Dirt tonight at Big's Grill in Fullerton.
Contact me if you want to be considered for an upcoming edition of Schwindy's indie music spotlight.
PO Box 2070, Mission Viejo CA 92690