...a few kind word about Right Hand Road
If you’re still sitting still after you drop the needle on the opening cut of Brian Langlinais’ new album, Right Hand Road, then check your heart to make sure it’s still beating. Langlinais and his all-start cast—including, among others, D.L. Duncan, who also helped produce, on guitar, Patterson Barrett on keys, James Pennebaker on guitar, Ron Eoff on bass, Lynn Williams on drums and percussion, Jonell Mosser on background vocals, and the Inglewood Horns (Roy Agee on trombone, Steve Herman on trumpet, Randy Leago on saxes)—launch this album propulsively with infectious soul grooves and searing though sensitive lead riffs. This album blends a Cajun spiciness with Muscle Shoals grit.
With riffs that recall Paul Revere and the Raiders’ classic “Hungry,” “You Can’t Say I Didn’t Love You” opens with some growling toms before launching into a soulful lament over lost love with a woman that the singer “always thought was the queen of soul with a rock and roll attitude.” With the help of Steve Conn on accordion and Barrett on Hammond B-3, Langlinais turns Wilson Pickett’s classic “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You” into a swampy, soulful Cajun tune that drives us to get out on the dance floor. Langlinais and Duncan co-wrote the title track, a down-to-the-bone Delta blues on which Duncan’s resonator guitar slides around and under the lyrics of love and longing.
Barrett’s juke joint barrelhouse piano rolls carry us into the sweaty, funky blues jazz of “Louisiana Love”: the music itself creates palpably the drenching desire of the singer and his woman. William Bell surely will be proud of Langlinais’ Stax-inflected soul take on Bell’s own “Every Day Will Be Like a Holiday,” and Muddy Waters would feel the same about Langlinais’ straight-ahead Chicago blues, replete with a stinging lead on the bridge and a joyous call-and-response on the chorus, take on Waters’ “Don’t Go No Further.” Just as the album opens with a split-your-heart-open rocker about lost love, the album ends with the Langlinais and Duncan co-write “Our Love is Slipping Away,” a Mississippi blues lament with Duncan’s mournful resonator crying the blues over a lost love.
Right Hand Road makes a joyful noise, with some down-home infectious riffs and vocals that wend their way down not just into your hearts and souls but also down into your bones. You feel these rhythms before the power of the lyrics hit you, and by then you’re already hypnotized and dancing across the floor with Langlinais and his band of merry musicians.
For music lovers and more specifically, blues lovers, 2016 is shaping up to be quite a year for diverse talent. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, as evidenced by Brian Langlinais’ new release,Right Hand Road. Of the ten tracks, six are new material that Langlinais co-wrote with Dave Duncan, a master guitarist and songwriter himself. The remainder are four covers that sound as fresh the day they were first.
The band consists of Brian Langlinais on lead vocals and guitar. Also from Langlinais’ home state of Louisiana, are Ron Eoff on bass, Patterson Barrett on keys and mandolin, Bryan Brignac on drums and Charlene Howard rounding out list on backup vocals. Representing Nashville, James Pennebaker plays guitar and the lap steel guitar, Steve Conn pounding out the keys on the piano and organ and adding some accordion along the way. And last but certainly not least we have Lynn Williams on drums and Jonell Mosser on backup vocals.
Right Hand Road is the perfect way to experience Louisiana blues peppered with Professor Longhair style piano riffs, and songs that have listeners imagining they are walking down Nashville streets floating on the sounds of the city.
“You Can’t Say I Didn’t Love You” is a hard hitting in your face number that bats lead off on the album and sets the tone for the rest of the album. This swaying back and forth tune tells the story of a romance that didn’t end well. With a great opening guitar riff that is reminiscent of Keith Richards, and a horn section that is absolutely dynamite, it grabs folks’ attention right away.
“Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You,” a Wilson Pickett smash hit from the early seventies is presented a Cajun feel to it. The title track has Langlinais and company showing off their considerable acoustic skills. “Louisiana Love” captures all things New Orleans. The song starts off with a Professor Longhair sound and quickly brings in the horns that really set this piece off nicely.
“It’s The Whiskey That Eases The Pain” is the perfect prescription for anyone who is feeling down. The rhythm section pulsates even as Patterson Barrett is on fire as his fingers dance up and down the eighty eights. “Our Love Is Slipping Away” is a beautiful acoustic that sings of the spark in a romance is dying, how there’s no denying it, and that there’s no saving it. This number will definitely tug on listener’s heartstrings.
Right Hand Road is the best of both worlds. A great mix of originals and covers, electric and acoustic, this album should be included in any up and coming collection. Pick it up soon. You won’t be disappointed!
Graeme Scott/Blues Matters Magazine....
"Having just spent a month on the road in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee touring Juke Joints, Dive Bars, Clubs and even the streets when I put this album on it transported me back to those lazy crazy days and nights filled with the music of the south. The album opens up with a blast of Soul tinged tuneage You Can’t Say I Didn’t Love You, wailing guitars, horns punching in and out, tinkling piano, call and response BVs and powered along with a driving rhythm section. Yay! What’s not to like about this? Absolutely nothing. You get ten cuts for your hard earned money and it is well worth the investment. Six originals and a clutch of fine covers like Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You (Wilson Picket) with a nice Zydeco squeeze box on the outro. Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday (William Bell) sounds like it could have been recorded in the Stax studio in Memphis. You want Chicago then listen to Brian’s fine take of Muddy Watters Don’t Go No Further. I really liked Louisiana Love which reeks of New Orleans and the rollicking Tucumcari Tonight is terrific. The title track is pure Delta Blues with fine acoustic picking on a resonator and has the kind of groove that I could listen to for hours never getting bored. Deceptively simple it hooks you in and you just get lost. The one cover I didn’t know here was It’s The Whiskey That Eases The Pain but I liked the sentiment for those in pain. Closing out the album is Our Love Is Slipping Away is just that, heartbreaking and nothing you can do to stop it. This is one of the best albums this year for me, excellent stuff."
...what folks have said about Brian in the past
"The music is so fresh and unique that someone [had] to come up with an equally unique handle for the sound. I'll have to add 'Roadhouse Soul' to the list of great sounds that I have encountered in a city that many still regard as a 'Country Music Town'."
--Ken Utterback/Nashville Music Examiner
“His second CD was worth the long wait. With his beautiful voice, Brian Langlinais again delivers twelve great, widely varied songs, from blues to soul, from Americana to honky-tonk. “Tonight I Might” is, in our opinion, one of the best we could listen to this year, becoming more and more penetrating with each spin.
"Roadhouse rock 'n' roll [and] Southern soul--By My Own Hand, complete with beautiful liquid guitar opening ... and Soul Searchin' which grooves like a good 'un and combines old school Motown with New Joisey rock 'n' roll ... [Brian Langlinais'] sincerity and commitment to his music shine through every note ... "
"Brian Langlinais' mix of Gulf coast soulful rock and stroll, with some blues of course, and some gospel ... all come together with confident playing on his second CD, Tonight I Might ... excellent CD."
--Buddy: The Original Texas Music Magazine
"The vibrant Brian Langlinais ... has released his sophomore album ... Danceable grooves and introspective lyrics are common threads woven through this project, as well as smooth and soulful vocals backed by top notch musicianship. ... his blues have redemption, and his vocals reveal an approachable spiritual lightness rather than dwell in bitter self-pity."
--Janet Goodman, Music News Nashville
“Although distinctive singers are often in short supply, Brian Langlinais is a fresh voice that's worthy of notice. With an obvious ear for top shelf songs and a unique vocal approach, Brian Langlinais is a must hear."
--Wade Jessen, Senior Chart Manager, Billboard
"Brian Langlinais is not only an excellent guitar player, he is also blessed with a beautiful, soulful voice which can alternate between the raw and the subdued. ...the album sounds remarkably warm and clear. ... Tonight I Might is a brilliant collection that lovers of good roots music will appreciate."
--Alt Country Forum