Gig Michaels is a man of ideals. Coming up in the stranglehold of rock, singing for Plain James (an under-the-radar band who had opened for Yes and Bad Company in the past), it’s easy to get sidetracked by the mystique of music. But with a child needing a father, rock n roll isn’t the safest of environments, requiring active participation 24/7 and no room for family. Not to mention the shadows that pervade rock, always grasping. He did the only thing a man of ideals could do…he stepped away. But now the child is raised, the pull (which never leaves, I know all about this) tightens the grip and you’re in it thick all over again, albeit more wiser.
The curiously named Swampdawamp is the new band. With a charred whiskey voice and a sound clearly southern rock (tinged with the sound of Allman Brothers Band at times), this 6-member outfit mixes up a classic rock sound (quite good, I’ll add), with that Southern formula to damn fine results.
The album opens with a kicker in “I’m Feeling Saturday,” a song that is as perfect an opener on an album as you’ll get. It brings you right into the mood of Southern funk Rock n Roll. The guitar of Marty Hill is an old school wonder, pleasing to the end with that familiar Allman Brothers flavour. The songs are filled with not only the right guitar sounds, but also a Hammond B3, and a great rhythm section.
The band deals with NASCAR (“Sunday Southern Tradition”), drinking whiskey on the backporch (“Backporch”), American frustrations – Katrina, war, outsourcing – (“Tastes Like Chicken to Me”), and the southern bluesy “Little Pill Called Truth.” There’s more but I’m sure you’re going to love all of Swampdawamp, I’ll leave them to your discovery. Need more? Head over to their MySpace page and listen for yourself.
Good goin’ there, Gig!!