SEMI-ROCKERS…Lawrence Morrill Glass: Neanderthal, Scott Nolan: Silverhill, Bridge: Songs of Lee Palmer, Steve Strongman: No Time Like Now

Somewhere between rock and a hard  place…

Lawrence Morrill Glass writes the material here, and the 11 songs have some quirky and clever lyrics. The settings for them range from fragrant mandolin on ”No Christmas This Year” to  rich ballad with strings and piano on the reflective “Lou Reed Died.” There’s some basic rock strums on “The Habit of You” and “Making love to the Telephone” while his voice is tender on the ballad with celeste and strings on ”Where Love Can Grow.” Hearkens back to the old singer/songwriter days of the 70s, and that’s a good thing.

Canadian singer/songwriter Scott Nolan teams up with Corky Hughes/g, Grayson Capps/g-harp, Will Kimbrough/g-mand, Savana Lee/voc-dr and Anthony Crawford/b-dr for a cozy mix of rural sounds. There’s a casual folk feel as Nolan’s earthy voice is relaxed on ”The Last One” and the sublime “When Can I See You Again.” Nolan sounds like a minstrel from the North Country as he sings about Guy Clark on “One Little Spark” or the thoughtful “Easter at the Waffle House.” The band shows it can boogie on the fun “Little Dreamer” and the 2 beat tapper with the B3 as Nolan growls  like early Dylan on “Shake It Loose.” Sticks to the ribs.

The One Take Players consists of Al Cross/dr, Alec Fraser/b, Mark Lalama/key, Kevin Briet/g-mand and Lee Palmer/voc for a collection of the singer’s compositions. A surfeit of guests on guitar, percussion, violin, horns and background vocals make cameos, and you get material ranging from a folksy two beat “my Town”  to a twanging Cumberland gapped guitar on “My Old Man.” Palmer’s vocals are street wise, and he can take you own a hoe down on ”So Long As You’ve Been Loved’ or to a Memphis swamp fest on “Well, Well, Well, Well.” You get some nice blues on the stark and Spartan “Back To Lonely” and the guitars form a heavy metal thunder on ”Our Love Bears Repeating.” Varied and variegated.

Armed with a voice like a catcher’s mit, Steve Strongman gets the guitars and drums thundering on this collection of material with Ron Szabo-Alec Frser/b-key, Dave King-Adam Warner/dr and Jesse O’Brien/key. Fellow Canuck Randy Backman brings in a cameo guitar solo during a pounding read of his famous “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” while the rocks are in a boogie mood for the title track and the guitars snarl o the Delta drifter “”Old School.” Some gospel hand clapping gets you on your feet during “Love Love Love” and the whacka-whooka is ;plugged in on the funky “I’m A Man.” Heavy Metal and thunder take you back to the head bashing 70s on this one.


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