With Andy Bs on the guitar and taking care of vocals, Ty Dennis on the drums, Brad Cummings on bass, Brian Swislow on the keyboards and on the Hammond organ, Don Hammerstedt wielding his trumpet, and Russ Thallheimer taking care of the saxophone, Cold Blue Water’s self-titled release is a collection of five songs that cross the boundary between rock, blues, and jazz. The perhaps stereotypical relaxed feeling associated with California – where the band is from – oozes through the entire EP, which was released last September. These bandmates clearly know their way around their instruments, the fruit of which can he heard on each polished track.
The electric guitar beginning of the opener “Catfish Blooz” leads the way into a funky rock-meets-jazz track, as the rock-imbibed guitar and drums create a slow, pulsing beat that combines well with the crooning voice of Bs. From the first notes of the following “Da Doodle”, a purely instrumental track, I knew I would find it too short, although it runs up to a respectable 3:42. The guitar and drums lead the upbeat track joined by horns and a keyboard, creating a perfect jazz lounge song.
Things are taken back down a notch with “So High”, the longest track at a little over seven minutes. It’s a bluesy number that bemoans the departure of a lover. “Led Boots”, another instrumental track (a Jeff Beck cover), leads the way into what is arguably the song with the most rock feel, although the horns remind you about the band’s jazzy, bluesy side. The EP ends with the bluesy and relaxing “Blue Rain”, another instrumental that would be welcome in a lounge featuring jazz music, although the guitar and drums might make some wonder if it is out of place at times.
I have a feeling that this band might be a lot of fun to see live, since their biography also states that they do jamming sessions. Until you make it to their show, the EP can be streamed on SoundCloud, and more information is available on their website.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.