“Pennies On The Dollar”
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © February 2021
Something New, Something Blues
Having recorded and written songs for projects with other bands, “Pennies On The Dollar” is Harvey Brindell’s first release under his own name. Of the disc’s ten tracks, a few are his originals from those other projects, some are originals he’s performed live but never recorded, and a few are newly written for this debut release.
For this recording, Harvey – on guitar, vocals, Hammond organ and harmonica – is joined by Mike Brindell, JW Jones and Johnny Burgin on guitar; Alec Brindell, Dave “Shakey Dizz” Wagner, Eric Byorth, and Joel Meints on bass; Mitch Kashmar, John “Honeyboy” Turner, and Jim Wilson on harmonica; Jimi Bott, Gary Williams, Dave Meints, and Don Holmquist on drums; and Dennis Lusk on Hammond Organ. Recognize any of those names? Of course, you do!
The cleverly written and playfully sung opening and title track finds Harvey stressing over his financial situation. With rent and other bills due, and in dire need of some food as well, Harvey assumed getting a job would make him right. Wrong! It seems his paycheck only amounted to “Pennies On The Dollar”. Additionally, in drastic need of gas for his car, he attempted to pawn his guitar but, of course, was only offered pennies on the dollar. As a matter of fact, when being ordered to pay his back alimony and child support, the judge threw him in jail for only offering to pay – yeah, you guessed it – pennies on the dollar. Musically, with his outstanding guitar leads, Harvey successfully pulls off the singer, songwriter, musician hat trick; Along with Jimi Bott on the drums, Harvey’s son Alec is in a perfect rhythm groove on bass; and Mitch Kashmar, as you do expect, is killing it on the harp. Very impressive first impression.
Blues Power Trio
When using it to describe a three piece blues band, the term “power trio” frightens me. Reason being is that more often than not this type of blues band is actually a rock band. That said, “Take The Boy Out Of The Country” features powerfully sung vocals, powerfully blown harp and powerful guitar leads by Harvey; and a profoundly powerful rhythm being laid down by brothers Joel and Dave Meints on the bass and drums; that I’ve got to go ahead and say it – this is indeed one hell of a power trio blues band.
If you’re going to sing a song about the legendary Zoo Bar in Lincoln, NE; and you’re going to mention some of the legends such as Magic Slim, Lurrie and Carey Bell, Koko Taylor, Luther Allison, Albert Collins, Little Charlie and more who have played there; it might be a good idea if you make it a legendary performance. On this track titled “The Old Zoo Bar”, Harvey Alec, Mitch and Jimi did just that. As a matter of fact, Mitch’s harmonica lead and the rhythm groove Alec and Jimi are in midway through the track will totally blow you away.
Blues for Omaha
Having lived in Nebraska for thirty years before relocating to Oregon, Harvey woke up one morning with the “Blues For Omaha”. Being quite homesick, amongst other problems, the relocation started off a bit rough. You see, Harvey had a pocket full of money when he arrived, but waking up another morning, he discovered her – along with that money and his car – were gone. Bad, huh? Kind of, but the worse part is how he’s going to explain this all to his wife. Yikes! Switching out the ensemble while not at all affecting the quality sound, this bluesy ballad features Dave Wagner (bass) and Gary Williams (drums) in a nice rhythm pocket with Honeyboy blowing some hot blues harp.
The instrumental “Short Flight” absolutely blew me away. It’s one of those tracks that has so much going on that you’ve got to replay it many times – with 1-2 of those times being for me to try and figure out what song it was reminiscent of. It features Harvey working his magic on both the guitar and the Hammond organ; Eric Byroth and Don Holmquist creating the dreamy rhythm on the bass and drums; and Jimi Bott on the tambourine. BTW, if you want to know the song it reminded me of you’ll just have to give it a listen, but the tracks title is a good hint.
When you wake up from a dream crying out and screaming; when you’re thinking about your fate and your heart starts palpitating; when you’re feeling really wise then you find your compromised; “That’s The Blues”. These are just a few of the many similes you’ll here on this all out blues rocker.
Other tracks on this outstanding debut release include: “Need Him And Weep”; “Mississippi Medicaid”; “Omaha Bones”; and “Queen Of The High Waters”
For more on Harvey Brindell, to grab yourself a copy of Pennies On The Dollar – and/or to possibly get some psychological help from a guy with a Masters Degree on the matter, just go to www.harveybrindell.com. When you do, please tell him the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient
“Pennies On The Dollar”