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Fri, May 24

MUSIC REVIEW: "Down, Boy!" by Big Daddy D. & The Dynamites


In all seriousness, we've had two weeks in the Prescott area that felt like the blues in the midst of some pretty depressing news stories. Getting a hold of "Down, Boy!", the new album from Prescott's Big Daddy D. & The Dynamites, hit the spot.

"Down, Boy!" was recorded at Stone Temple Studios in Prescott in March and April of this year in time for a summer release. It's pure rhythm and blues. Yes, in between courthouse statues and antique charm, there's a river of blues flowing through Prescott.

Fronting the four/five-piece (sometimes live with or without horn player Gary Regina) is Darryl "Big Daddy D" Porras, who has musical ties in the area to the Mercy Guitar Hospital's Freddie Cisneros and Sweet Nasty's Anton Teschner, among others. Drew Hall also brings guitar, vocals and songwriting to the mix, and drummer Carlos B. Jones and bassist Steven Ayers put the rhythm in this combo's organic swing, and they can swing, man, swing.


"Too Late"

A fantastic ride of uneven bars that flow perfectly perpendicular. The horns steal the show, as active wallflowers drizzling a Bobby Keys/Jim Price atmosphere.

"Soul Power"

Maybe the most electric arrangement in the bunch. The instrumentation picks up passengers one at a time and never lets go, held together by the snare drum gymnastics of Carlos B. Jones. The lyrics are a rundown of heroes probably on the Dynamites' turntable as we speak.

"I Ain't Puttin' Up with What You're Puttin' Down"

The guitar solo has gut-level movement that gives sound to Porras' pain. The best solo on the disc could fit over any recorded blues measure you got.

"Welcome Sweet Sunshine"

Fresh Cream-era Cream. In fact, I felt jilted waiting for Jack and Eric's two-part harmony vocals. This track makes me yearn for an expanded Dynamites. One could only imagine such an aromatic effort with a second drummer, an acoustic, and extra electric rhythm guitar. It's not fat-free, but this one with a few more pounds of Delbert McClinton-sized axes would be explosive.

"Never Been To New Orleans"

No joke, this sounds like an outtake off the "Briefcase Full of Blues" album. The whole band is carpooling on the album's best song to drive to (watch out for the speed cameras).


"Are You Feelin' Me?"

Straightforward blues instrumental jam that chugs but doesn't offer too much news that blues hasn't told before. If it ain't broke don't fix it on this one, which could serve as the band's pre-show warm up.

"Hip Deep in the Blues"

A re-written tempo borrowing from the likes of "Got My Mojo Workin." It does breathe a rhythm section more from Canned Heat, however, whose influence is all over this one.

All in all, "Down, Boy!" is a reminder of what's great about 21st century technology, which has never made it easier for independent bands to record and transmit their sound, and the listener is the winner. And it's been a very strong summer of albums recorded locally by Prescott artists.

The Dynamites know how to chill and they can get funky. They're chunky.

Rating: 4 out of 5 lava lamps


(Full disclosure: The bassist is the same Steven Ayers that maintains the courierwatch blog, and is a repeat winner of our Courier Reader of the Week award.)


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