“What Is Real”
Farm 189 Records
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © March 2021
It’s been exactly two years since I reviewed Trevor B. Power’s first release and for songwriters like Trevor, the events of those two years have certainly presented material for many a song. On his latest release – “What Is Real” – you can count on Trevor to use several of his ten new original tracks to offer his candid thoughts on those matters.
On the project, Trevor B. Power – on guitars, harmonica and vocals – is joined by: Anthony Krizan on guitars, drums, bass, tambourine and vocals; Danielle Illario and Matt Migliorino on background vocals; John Ginty on B3; Rob Clores on B3 and piano; and Will Wilde on harmonica.
The disc opens with a track that features lyrics which have pretty much been commonly uttered during the last year or two. On it you’ll hear Trevor’s take as to what’s responsible for a “World Gone Madd” and sadly, it won’t be much you didn’t already know. Musically, the combination of the lead and background vocals all being loudly sung together, with Anthony’s quite profound rhythm and percussion and his edgy, stinging slide guitar created a helter-skelter vibe which in actuality, was the perfect accompaniment for the chaos the lyrics were describing. Very interesting track.
“Get Well Johnny” is a plea from Trevor to his ailing brother. Tracing his brother’s journey from when he first went away to college to his later life in which he’s got several children via a few ex-wives and went through open heart surgery, Trevor longs for the day for Johnny to get well so they can once again have a good time. With the band in a funky rhythm groove behind him, Will Wilde puts on one of the more prolific harmonic leads I’ve heard in recent years.
This straight up rocker is titled “Pandemic (2020)” and it could very well be the year’s anthem. Listening to Trevor belt out the chorus line “it’s a dirty rotten low down shame, with all of our money we can’t stop the pain” is unsettling, then on the other hand, hearing him say “the men and women on this great county always see it clear, we’ll come out even stronger, damn our fear” is quite enlightening. With outstanding tandem leads by Anthony and Trevor, and a killer solo by Trevor, this is one hell of a guitar driven track.
There’s nothing like a laid back ballad to highlight and showcase a singers vocal talents and emotional side and “I’m Still In” does all of that for Trevor. With John Ginty, on the B3, guiding the rhythm into a smooth slot and equally smooth guitar leads behind him, Trevor may just be at discs best vocally.
Going from a slow ballad, which I’m an absolute sucker for, into a very long and very bluesy song, which also always gets me going, is a heck of a two song pairing for me. This one is titled “Easier Way” and it’s seven-plus minutes of good old traditional blues. Between Anthony already killing it with a powerful rhythm, he and Trevor going toe-to-toe on smokin’ guitar leads, Trevor belting the hell out of the vocals and Will, on his second of only two appearances again wailin’ on harp, this one is hands down the disc’s best track.
Think of Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis combining forces with Bruce Springsteen. Got it yet? Okay, now you’ll know what to expect when you listen to “Life Is Good”. Rock ‘n’ Roll at it’s finest.
So here I am, seven songs in and this is the seventh song I’m featuring. You can thank Danielle Illario for that. I intended to close out this review with the last track but then as I was kind of wrapping it up and getting to make my closing statements she started singing and you see how that went. The song is called “Sexy Witch” and although I don’t know where the witch came in but hearing her team up with Trevor on this rocker, I do know where the sexy, the sass, and the steam came from.
To find out more about Trevor B. Power just go to his website – www.trevorbpowerband.com. Wherever you go and whomever you talk to, please tell them the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient
“What Is Real”