Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glenn Kaiser Band - Carolina Moon
   
Musical Style: Blues Based Hard Rock Produced By: Tom Cameron & Glenn Kaiser Band
Record Label: Grrr Country Of Origin: USA
Year Released: 2001 Artist Website: Glenn Kaiser
Tracks: 12 Rating: 85%
Running Time: 49:28
Glenn Kaiser Band - Carolina Moon

Resurrection Band (Rez Band) lead vocalist and guitarist Glenn Kaiser put the Glenn Kaiser Band together with bassist Roy Montroy (also Rez Band) and drummer Ed Bialack, the three releasing the blues based rock of its very fine debut Winter Sun in 2000.  Returning a year later with a heavier and more guitar driven sophomore effort in Carolina Moon, Glenn Kaiser Band takes a foundation of blues rock and effectively combines it with elements of classic hard rock.  If you enjoy the more blues heavy material of Rez Band such as "The Crossing", "Someone Sleeps", "Rain Dance" and "Where Roses Grow" then I cannot help but give the album a strong recommendation. 

Kaiser, as always, makes his presence felt with a gritty and raspy blues soaked vocal style.  A more than above average talent on guitar, he demonstrates in no uncertain terms that blues is his natural element, reflected in the scorching red hot leads he adorns the album with from front to back.  Montroy and Bialach form a monster rhythm section characterized by muscular bass lines and a mega-tight drum sound.

Carolina Moon showcases a refined production job with a mix so crystal clear it literally breathes life.  A near perfect blend of crisp rhythm guitar and fluid lead guitar stands in support of a full and heavy low end.

The bouncing riff carried over pounding drums that initiates "Torch" gives way to an edgy rhythm guitar, the song emanating just the right amount of infectious energy as it advances through each of its three verses.  Kaiser contributes a gritty guitar solo to a song talking about a "torch" that cannot be extinguished:

I'm alive by Your kindness
Yeah I am healed by the gift of faith
Filled with your fire
I am livin' in mercy and grace
I'm as sure as can be
One day I'm gonna see Your face
Carryin' a torch of Your love
 
Forty-five seconds of crunchy open air rhythm guitar gets "Out Cold" underway before the song stops dead in its tracks.  Abruptly picking up in pace, "Out Cold" moves through its verse at an upbeat tempo before it gains further momentum for a strong hard hitting chorus.  Montroy's bass moves to the front of the mix as Kaiser nails several seconds of bluesy lead guitar work.

The prominently placed bass line at the start of "Mercy" soon interweaves with a crisp rhythm guitar, the two conveying the song with an abundance of grit and gravel to a chorus with a catchy refuse to go away hook.  Kaiser contributes forty-five seconds of fiery blues flavored lead guitar work.  "Mercy" is about just that:

Mercy came calling today
God knows I needed to see her
Courage left me out in the lane
Beat up and runnin' without her

Mercy came singing tonight, she called me out to dance
Her sweet grace brought me delight, it's so much more than romance
She took me right to it, I didn't think I could do it
That old dragon's gone, mercy slew it

Beginning to a drum solo, the albums title track is propelled through its first and second verse in an emotionally charged fashion by a crunchy rhythm guitar.  "Carolina Moon" culminates as it smoothly flows to a memorable chorus that, as it is repeated twice, will refuse to leave your head.  I like how Montroy’s bass moves to the front of the mix to back several seconds of scorching lead guitar work.

The straightforward blues rock of "Gonna Meet You At The Station" proceeds through each of its four verses at a more laid back mid-tempo pace to Kaiser's blues based work on guitar.  The song details Kaiser's love of trains, especially one under angel power he expects to board one day:

Gonna meet you at the station
Gonna leave when the train pull out
Meet you at the station
Gonna roll with a jump and shout
Gonna pack as fast as lightning'
With my spirit cryin' out

"Changin' Wind" jumps out of the gate to several seconds of razor sharp lead guitar work backed by a punchy bass line.  After the bass line in question helps take the song through its first verse, it attains a chorus driven in an intense manner by Kaiser’s screaming rhythm guitar.  "Changin' Wind" points out the difference Christ can make in our lives:

Sometimes I remember just the way it felt
Blisters in my ragged soul, blowin' in from hell
Passion that just seemed a ball an' chain
That was my life before the Savior came
 
The acoustically driven "Country Mile", coming in at just under three minutes, proves the least interesting of the albums tracks.  Kaiser adds both an acoustic guitar solo and harmonica solo to a song dealing with the day we will see the Lord:

I just go to see Your face, Lord
How I wanna see You smile
At the end of the road they'll hear us
Shoutin' for a country mile
 
Opening to a heavy duty bass line that soon joins with several seconds of bluesy riffing, “Storm” is driven through its first verse by an upfront mix of crunchy rhythm guitar.  The song breaks for a passage of rhythm and lead guitar before advancing on an imposing chorus delivered in a forceful manner.  "Storm" questions the type of foundation your house is built upon:

I need ears to hear and eyes to see
You got to recognize the substance from the form
This world is in deep trouble
And I think I know what's real
Jesus hold us closer in this storm

The blues flavored riffing that sets "Fuss & Moan" in motion drives the song forward in a laid back fashion until it evenly transitions to a terrific non-stop hook filled chorus.  Kaiser adds razor sharp lead guitar work to a song dealing with whining and finger pointing:

Don't ya know that life is more than fuss and moan
Open your heart child - Jesus wants to bring you home
I finally faced the darkness in my own life
Understood people couldn't do me right
 
"Grinder" is an instrumental Kaiser wrote back in 1971 while in a three piece band called Willow.  Taking off fast and heavy to a catchy guitar riff, the song makes a time change to a slower and more blues based musical direction after one minute only to transition back to hard rock after two minutes.

Introduced to several seconds of open air rhythm guitar, "I Forgive You" progresses to a prominently placed bass line before attaining a catchy chorus addressing the issue of forgiveness:

I might pass before you, you might hang around
I might just outlive you, either way I forgive you
Yes I do- I forgive you (only way to live)

A combination of lead and rhythm guitar highlights the instrumental passage that follows.  I feel it is important to take a seconds look at the songs thoughtful lyrics:

They sometimes lie and leave you
An' use you when they're gone
The river rolls beyond you both
But memories linger on

We don't work the same garden
But we had our share of strife
Still I beg your pardon
And I wish you love and life

"Rooster Crow" is a great Rez Band style hard rocker that made its initial appearance - though in a different form - on the bands 1989 release Innocent Blood.  Similar to the Innocent Blood version, the song slowly moves ahead to an acoustic guitar.  Where "Rooster Crow" differs from the original, however, is that following its first verse a sledgehammer heavy rhythm guitar kicks in and carries it directly to a good hard rocking chorus.  Kaiser spices things up with his red hot work on harmonica in addition to closing out the songs last minute with a fiery guitar solo.

Am I out of line to suggest that Carolina Moon is one of the best projects Glenn Kaiser has been associated with?  With a few exceptions notwithstanding, the songwriting from front to back is excellent in that both Kaiser and Montroy contribute some of their finest compositions in years.  The albums excellent production job and Kaiser's blues based lead guitar work only adds to its appeal.

If you enjoy Carolina Moon then please note that Glenn Kaiser Band has recorded two additional blues rock albums in Winter Sun (2000) and Blacktop (2003).  And while neither rock with quite the same authority as Carolina Moon, they are both of the same high quality musically and come highly recommended.  In closing, how many of you reading this share my sentiment in requesting an entire album of Rez Band style hard rockers along the lines of "Rooster Crow"?

Review by: Andrew Rockwell

Track Listing: "Torch" (3:52), "Out Cold" (5:11), "Carolina Moon" (5:41), "Gonna Meet You At The Station" (4:41), "Changin’ Wind" (5:12), "Country Mile" (3:12), "Storm" (2:54), "Fuss & Moan" (3:37), "Grinder" (4:03), "I Forgive You" (3:41), "Rooster Crow" (4:32)

Musicians
Glenn Kaiser – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Dobro & Harmonica
Roy Montroy – Bass
Ed Bialach – Drums

Also Reviewed: Resurrection Band – Awaiting Your Reply, Resurrection Band - Rainbow's End, Rez - Civil Rites

 

Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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