It is an unfortunate fact that many dreams of rock stardom are given up on way too early. Trust me I understand personally how life can get in the way sometimes and putting food on the table eats up all the time that you used to play and perform. When the musical passion is strong in someone though it will return to rear its head and force a talented musician out of “retirement”. That seems to be the case with the latest artist I discovered, The Wheelhouse.
The Santa Cruz, California project is the brainchild of Russ Lake. After giving up on his musical dreams, he stayed busy working on the business side of the music industry for other artists. His muse never fully escaped though and he is now back producing his own brand of Americana with the help of many talented friends. The songs came together over time, some just for a melody or others just for pure groove. By not being forced to rush out an album and instead letting the music grow organically The Wheelhouse has created a feeling of a comfortable party where everyone there is a close friend.
Now able to put all this together The Wheelhouse has released the album Welcome To The Motherlode. The 11 song record has the sound of true joy as it is obvious a good time is being had. Songs such as ‘When The Story Is Told’ and ‘Fish In The Sea’ are peppy little acoustic guitar driven songs that tell an interesting story over a nice quick beat. Your toes will be tapping before you know it. On ‘Things That We Said Today’, the band channels the energy of an acoustic performance by The Doors with a slightly psychedelic feel to it. The standout track has to be ‘Truth And Lies’, an energetic song with a sultry vocal style that makes the listener feel dirty in all the right ways. Another song that will force your body to move to the beat. Overall this is a fun little album with a solid mix of Americana and Blues that I am glad Russ lake had the opportunity to let escape from his mind.
Go take a listen for yourself at: http://www.reverbnation.com/russlake