Words of wisdom and drums that go crack, boom, bam. That’s what Trevor B. Power delivers on his second album, “What Is Real.”
On the opening song, Power observes: “Why all the hate and the dying? It’s a world gone mad.”
Funny, I was thinking the same thing.
Press materials precisely describe the song “World Gone Mad” as a “sociopolitical pop rock anthem,” as upbeat harmonies bounce along behind poignant lyrics.
On the song “Pandemic 2020” Power notes: “It’s a dirty rotten lowdown shame, with all of our money we can’t stop the pain.”
The Covid-19 paradigm is the theme throughout. And musically, it’s rock and roll that sounds so familiar that you can almost hear John Cougar Melencamp, J.J. Cale and – maybe under a bridge near a Jersey turnpike, Tweeter and the Monkeyman.
New Jersey’s Power teamed up with Anthony Krizan at his Sonic Boom Studios in Raritan, N.J., along with engineer Matt Migliorino and mixer Tom Camuso to create this excellent record. Power, who cites Woodie Guthrie as a great influencer, wrote all 10 songs.
Co-producer Krizan plays guitar and fronts his own band, but his drumming throughout the album is powerful. Krizan has recorded with Jimi Hendrix’s bass player Noel Redding, and there’s a nod to “Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)” on “Sexy Witch,” a duet sung by Power and Danielle Illario.
“Get Well Johnny” is about Power’s older, ailing brother, and it features an incredible, extended harmonica solo by Will Wilde.
Power has a grizzled voice, exaggeratingly so on a Bob Dylan homage, “Easier Way,” the most straight-ahead blues on the album.
Some tastefully cool slide guitar is featured on a few songs, and 12-string acoustic on the final track, “This Old Road,” which effectively downshifts the aggressiveness and eases the listener back home.
Although we dropped a lot of classic rock ‘n’ roll names here, let’s be clear: Power has his own sound. One that will be appreciated by rock, roots and blues music lovers. “What Is Real” is real good.
- Trevor B. Power
- ‘What Is Real’
- Release: Feb. 15, 2021
- Label: Farm 189 Records
- Favorite tracks: ‘World Gone Mad,’ ‘Pandemic 2020’
- Trevor B. Power Show: 7-9 p.m. EST Thursdays, www.spiderglennradio.com