CD REVIEW: Hunter and The Dirty Jacks - Single Barrel
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"Rock and Soul is back"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist/Band: Hunter and The Dirty Jacks
Genre: Rock n' Soul, Jam Band, Classic Rock, Americana Blues
Sounds Like: The Eagles, Marc Ford, Black Crows, Gov’t Mule, John Cougar, Northern Mississippi All-stars, The Allman Brothers
Weakness: Winded Songs, More Vocal Harmonies
(LOS ANGELES, CA) Hunter and The Dirty Jacks comprise a virtual all-star cast of Los Angeles and Orange County-area musicians that have been playing locally and regionally for over ten years apiece. Fronted by lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Hunter Ackerman, and anchored by Jon Siembieda and Carmelo Bonaventura on guitar, Aaron Barnes on bass, Moana Avvenenti on vocals, and Brian Lara on drums. In 2014 the Dirty Jacks put forth an extremely high energy 12 track catalog called “Single Barrel” their debut release.
The CD wastes no time getting off the ground with melodic intro piece “Rock & Roll Soul.” This song serves up infectious rocked out musical ambience against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic guitar and driving rock rhythm, that confidently leads you by the hand down the path of soulful musical indulgence. Track 2 “Jubilee” shifts gears a bit with its slamming Harmonica intro and impressive musical build to the chorus, inviting/soulful vibe and infectious vocals from Siembieda. Track 3 “Doctor Dingo” is an impressive hooky-rock piece that is full of musical peaks and valleys, impressive rhythm guitar that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. By track 4 this CD hits solid stride delivering many impressive songs back to back. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Black Crowes however I can even hear brief flashes of The Eagles and even a dash of older John Cougar. Other comparable artists: Marc Ford, Gov’t Mule, John Cougar, Northern Mississippi All-stars, The Allman Brothers. I would classify this music as rocked out Soul, Singer/Songwriter and Americana Rock with a fun and electrifying flair. The CD at times presents brilliant peak and valley flow via a strong American perspective that takes no prisoners. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice rich layers of rocked out Guitar, Harmonica, solo guitar, a few harmonies, and enticing melodies - all built on a thick as a brick rhythmic foundation. Vocalist Ackerman showcases an impressive and soulful singing skill set. He’s got good power and control. All other members play their parts well and as a whole the band a good "rugged" look. Kudos goes out the mind-blowing vocals and guitar combo – which make up the core sound of The Dirty Jacks. All the musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board. Siembieda and the gang is clearly letting it all hang out via this latest release. All production aspects check out. CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. Siembieda has an effective baritone and his vocal risk-taking and overall touch behind the microphone are effective. At times his voice reminds me of combination of John Cougar and Gregg Allman. Sometimes he even reminds of Jim Morrison (Doors). From hypnotic “Salt Whiskey” and "Smoking Gun" to defiant “Break Me Down” and rocking “Lorraine” and “Prometheus” to hypnotic “Gotta’ Keep Movin’ On”to bluesy "Leave the Cap Off the Bottle" this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 15 “Kennel Howl” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
Al songs over 5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I want to hear more vocal harmonies from the other members of the Dirty Jacks.
“Single Barrel” by Hunter and The Dirty Jacks is a compelling, rocking, soulful, melodic, musical journey. This surging band is clearly making waves around Los Angeles for a reason. Their strong suit is their amazing songwriters touch and musical finesse song for song. There isn't a weak song on this entire 15 Track set. Ackerman and the gang gets high marks from me for delivering a soulful rocked out CD, a rarity these day - nice touch. The music is diverse, grooving, upbeat, soulful and entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want an old school rock experience to fill their atmosphere. This straight forward, easy to digest musical format makes for a great musical experience many will enjoy. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you. Vintage Rock & Soul is back, and a little bit of Salt Whiskey is highly encouraged.