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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blues Historian Review: The Isomniacs, At Least I Am not With You


I wonder if anyone told The Insomniacs, that it is not 1950, or perhaps they were caught in a time warp and amazingly showed up 50 years later. Either way, The Insomniacs certainly know how to rock circa 1950 style. These guys have a tight band that is the most authentic sounding retro band that I have heard. These guys are even more authentic than the Stray Cats back in the 80s. What is great about At Least I'm Not With You is that the band is not limited to 50s jump blues. They can play Chicago Blues almost note for note as the original HooDoo Man, or they can doowop with the best of them with their cover of Baby Don't Do It. If there is one knock on the band is that 6 of the 13 songs are covers. Most of the time I don't want to hear another band's version of someones elses song, but this group is so deeply drenched in the 50s, that I actually enjoyed hearing them tear it up.

Vyasa Dodson is a heck of a guitar player and singer. He is way too young to have been alive back when this music was created, but he certainly plays it like he lived it. The rest of the Insomniacs keep a great grove going, and they are very tight. I also like the recording quality. They kept it simple and the music is not overproduced, which gives the band an authentic 50s sound.

I like these guys because I am a kindred soul. I love music from the 50s. It is not a case of being nostalgic for the fifties, because first I wasn't around then, and second, it really wasn't Leave It To Beaver, suburbia, and white picket fences. There was way too much segregation, racism and conformity for my tastes, but the music was amazing. Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Country, Jazz, and Swing, all were competiting, combinding, and experimenting creating long lasting hybreds, like Rock and Roll, and Rockabilly.

The Insomniacs are from Portland, but are out on the road so keep an eye out for them. I guarantee a great time so get your face in the place Daddy O!

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