Even from the opening notes, “AM Blues” sounds more lighthearted than anything former Constantine Bry Webb performed on Provider. Webb’s new album, Free Will, was recorded as five-piece and will undoubtedly sound more “band-like”. Percussion is largest noticeable difference- while in this song it’s simple brushes-on-snare, it lends the song drive and momentum that gives it an entirely different feel. Because of this percussion, the lap steel/pedal steel combination that enters in the chorus sounds less somber and more rootsy- I instantly feel like I’m driving a car at just the right speed on the most beautiful day of the year.
Webb maintains the deep, calm (almost sedated) voice of his solo work, and delivers lines softly but with impact. The hoo-hoo’s on the chorus have the potential to come across as juvenile, but they are earnest and serene. The most interesting moment arrives after the chorus in the form of a dueling noise guitar solo, courtesy of Webb and fellow former Constantine Will Kidman. This brief noise jam provides the song with the perfect interruption, shows that Webb still has a bit of his former edge, and makes a return to the chorus refreshing instead of redundant.
Bry Webb’s new album, Free Will, is out May 20th on Idee Fixe Records. You can read a recent interview with him at http://www.thevaultkingston.com/bry-webb-the-grad-club-march-14/