BLVD Show Band ‘Gotta Have You Tonight’ (Artizen) 4/5

BLVD-show-bandThis long player came as a nice surprise having heard the title track on radio, an urgent, breezy funky dancer with fine vocals. The tune stayed with me and at the earliest chance I got I acquired the album blind, and its been a regular play here at home. BLVD Show Band are Thomas Harvey on lead vocals, Samie Ray Honey guitar, Russell Thunder Hordsby bass and Timothy Mike Young drums and lead vocals, all of the guys also provide background vocal support. They also have guests appearing with them too. Whilst listening the first thing that struck me was the maturity of the vocals and indeed the photograph of the guys reveals men of a mature age, there’s a lived in, rugged, gritty sound to the vocals, nothing sweet here. Again the sound is southern with the odd guitar solo going on here and there, ten tracks laid down in Dallas Texas, ballads, dancers, strollers – its all here in abundance, the first tune to hit me is the wonderful mid-tempo stroller “Its good”, with its easy on the ear sound track, background vocals “Doo-Wopping” away supporting a fine lead vocal, the kind of tune I listen to repeatedly, fitting perfectly with the likes of the mighty Robert Owens “My Girl”. I’m afraid those horrid ‘Squeeze Box’ horns are present but the quality of the rest of the sound overshadows the irritation. The exquisite ballads “Fighting in my dreams” and “I believe in you” are throwbacks to an earlier time with the likes of the Delphonics, Chi-Lites, Temptations and the like, very brave to give us balladry like this in 2015. Had this album featured real horns it would be an essential purchase. As it is, it’s a worthy addition to the shelves indeed.

Brian Goucher