Phil Varca and the SlamJammers Still Going Strong

Phil Varca

The two new singles from Phil Varca and the SlamJammers are blazing examples of their blues rock power entitled “Cash” and “Don’t Push Me”. The band has established quite a reputation in the New York City area and they’ve appeared in plum supporting spots for top tier acts like Joe Bonamassa and Shemekia Copeland, along with others, that’s helped raise their profile to higher levels with each new outing.


They seem prepared to ascend to the next level with the release of these new singles and they carry on in the tradition of the bluesy and bruising musical experiences that have defined their material up to this point. Varca is a superior vocalist for this sort of material and has an equal amount of lung power dovetailing nicely into a deep and satisfying soulfulness. Phil Varca and the SlamJammers have the skills and passion to take listeners wherever they like thanks to songwriting that speaks in a recognizable, resonant language for music lovers of all persuasions.


“Don’t Push Me” has the blood and guts of desperation and resentment seething from every note and Varca caps it all off with his best vocal of the two songs. There’s a fair amount of unhappiness streaming through the song and Varca takes full advantage of that without ever over-dramatizing the lyric. There are some obvious reference points for his guitar playing and vocals alike that longtime fans of the style will readily recognize, but it never rings false as merely just copping the licks and feel of superior talents hoping modern audiences won’t notice.


Varca owns this song every bit as much as his influences own their songs and credibility is never an issue. He keeps things quite focused, as well – “Don’t Push Me” is a song that never wastes the audience’s time.


Phil Varca and The SlamJammers Are Classic as They Are Fresh

“Cash” is a much faster paced tune and more traditional in the sense that it tackles arch-familiar subject matter for the style – a sexy, witchy woman who’s caught Varca’s eye. The power trio format of the band keeps things from ever getting too heavy and there’s great separation between the instruments while still keeping the same effective growl that makes the band’s bluesy conviction all the more appealing. The lyrics turn around some typical tropes, but Varca presents it with the stamp of his own personality burning through every line. The chorus isn’t quite as strong here as it is in the aforementioned tune, but it’s effective and ties things up nicely.


Phil Varca and the SlamJammers are still chuggin’ away long after most acts in this vein have decided to give it up and their music rages with all the inspiration you’d expect from much younger performers. They’ve stayed hungry but, moreover, they’ve retained the same passion for writing and recording music that initially spurred them to pursue this road. “Don’t Push Me” and “Cash” are fantastic songs and guaranteed to entertaining their target audiences.


  -Lance Wright