Hunter and the Dirty Jacks release debut CD
This CD (Single Barrel) is the debut release from Hunter and the Dirty Jacks. Band is: Hunter Ackerman (Vocals and Multi-Instrumentalist), Jon Siembieda (Guitar), Carmelo Bonaventura (Guitar), Aaron Barnes (Bass), Moana Avvenenti (background vocals) and Brian Lara (drums). This powerful and eclectic album tells the story of a band that is paying their dues. The lyrics are intertwined with rustic rocking-blues feel and raw emotion with a southern fried twang.
The CD opening really sets the mood appropriately enough with “Rock & Roll Soul” and quasi-anthemic toe-tapping “Jubilee” and “Doctor Dingo” which would even make artists like Tesla and Kenny Wayne Shepherd jealous as hell. These are three grand opening statements which are made up of straightforward old school rocking-blues with no frills. I say “old school” because there is a classic rock aftertaste to some of these songs without question. Many songs on “Single Barrel” features catchy guitar, bluesy licks, grooving vocals, drums and bass as primaries. Vocally Ackerman and the rest of the band work well together. He is in unison with the music and as a band they are hardly unentertaining in a live setting either. The vocal timing is amazing as Ackerman hits all his notes well and exists well in the pocket. His tone is just as personal as his melodies are. It needs to be said – there’s a certain amount of mood assigned to each track as well. The first few times I listened to it I was utterly keyed up by it. A few of these songs are not overly bright and happy either – but in your face and 100% honest about life and true grit. These cats know how to write and play you a captivating song. What’s there not to like about all of this? The strong first impression following the first 3 tracks did not subside as the album progressed forward. The next few songs “Salt Whiskey”, “Break Me Down” and “Lorraine” keep it very consistent and are the strongest territory musically for this record in my opinion. I would even wager some of these songs could have been big in the mid-’90s on Alternative Folk Radio or even Rocking Country. There’s something that screams mid-’90s when I listen to this music – and this is a compliment. Many feel the 90’s were that last good decade of good Rock, and I would tend to agree. Even artists like Diamond Rio, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Derek Trucks Band and Blackberry Smoke had all these bands had musical moments that were unforgettable.
“Single Barrel” should be called “Double Barrel” but all jokes aside is one of those albums that just grows on you instantly. This rocking offering has hidden moments of Country-Blues-Roots and folk which add depth to the album providing a mature sound and singer/songwriter type feel to it – it’s worst kept secret. All songs have solid rhythm, featuring an involving bass-line that interacts well with this bands overall eel – either live or in the studio. The overall music is excellent that not only contains strong hooks, but it seems to soar at times.
My favorite track is: “Lorraine” I love the lyrics on this one. I also feel “Salt Whiskey” optimizes the Hunter and the Dirty Jacks sound to a “T”.
Like me, you’ll probably like it if you want something unpretentious to put you into that mood. It’s a mood album for sure and only a red hot band like Hunter and the Dirty Jacks can pull it off in 2014.
Gary Buckner. Approved by Cyrus Rhodes.