@planetmosh reviews Essential Tremors by .@JRoddyBusiness out on .@ATORecords
Essential Tremors is the third full length album from J Roddy Walston and the Business. Formed in 2002 in Cleveland, Tennessee, three albums in twelve years isn’t exactly prolific, but they clearly favour quality over quantity. Essential Tremors also has the honour of being the first album ever recorded at Grammy award winning producer Mark Neill’s (The Black Keys) newly opened Soil of the South studio in Valdosta, Georgia. Neill co-produced the album with Matt Wignall (Cold War Kids.)
Walston does triple duty, singing and playing piano and guitar. The Business are Billy Gordon on guitar and vocals, Logan Davis on bass and vocals and Steve Colmus on drums. Naming the album Essential Tremors is perhaps something of a cathartic experience for Walston, as it’s named after a medical condition which causes his hands to sometimes develop uncontrollable shakes. Not the easiest thing for a guitarist/pianist to deal with.
This is an album that has been sweated over, worked at, tweaked to perfection and the result is a sublime collection of songs that speak to the heart. Walston’s voice is plaintive, especially on the beautiful Boys Can Never Tell, and the melodic Nobody Knows, and each song begs to be listened to.
A stand out for me is Sweat Shock. With an anthemic hook and growling vocal, it’s probably the best track of the album when played live, and really stands out.
There are many and varied influences in Essential Tremors. The band have been described as “AC/DC fronted by Jerry Lee Lewis” and you can see where that comes from. Some songs, e.g. Heavy Bells, Black Light are rock, but Tear Jerk is pure piano-based rock n roll. You wouldn’t be surprised to hear it in an episode of Happy Days. There are elements of rock, funk, blues, even some T-Rex style glam, all infused with Walston’s laid back, chilled out, deep South vocals. Something for everyone in fact. Therefore, everyone should have a listen.
3)Take it as It Comes
8)Boys Can Never Tell
11)Midnight Cry[amazonmp3 asin=”B00EVPBYIC”]