ALBUM: Dam It
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Rodney Justo - vocals * Jimmy Dean - bass * John Rainey - guitars * David Rainey - guitars, keyboards * Charlie Silva - drums * John Stroll - keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 Mystic Notions And Magic Potions * 02 Dam It * 03 See The Monkey * 04 Make The Midnight Special * 05 Rock And Roll Southern Man * 06 Stop The River In Your Eyes * 07 Stealin' Feelin' * 08 Everybody Got It On The Inside * 09 Mourning In Dixie * 10 Down In The Mine
Here's another great piece of Southern Rock with a soft melodic twist. The majority of the band had been B.J. Thomas
' backing band before splitting and going solo. Justo and John Rainey had played together as far back as 1964 in The Candymen
, supporting Roy Orbison
. Justo will be known to many as being an original member of the Atlanta Rhythm Section
, playing on their debut, but leaving after discovering the band would be contributing the soundtrack to a Butch Cassidy cartoon show! Justo ended up singing jingles for TV commercials while doubling as a lead contributor for B.J. Thomas
, but when the rest of the band decided to go it alone Justo joined them and the band cut their self titled debut in 1977. This was their second and last album, and it's a laid back melodic masterpiece, while Southern to the core, without ever following the same suit as the likes of Molly Hatchet
Beaverteeth take the same direction as Atlanta Rhythm Section
, more commercial and radio friendly, and 'Mystic Notions And Magic Potions' is a dead ringer for the boys from Doraville whom Justo helped create. 'Dam It' is one of the heavier Southern guitar based songs, these boys hardly afraid of a few harsh riffs and pace to boot. But wouldn't you know it there's a large helping of AOR here and I'll be 'damned' if 'See The Monkey' isn't a fine West Coast outing which even dabbles with Supertramp
. Also on the contemplative side is 'Make The Midnight Special', but Beaverteeth remind us who they are with 'Rock And Roll Southern Man', although this isn't the boogie extravaganza you might think, although firmly entrenched in Southern values, just a shade quieter than most. There's horns noticeable in the very pop orientated 'Stop That River In Your Eyes', this might even be Hall And Oates
, but the lyrical content, about a woman beaten up by her abusive partner is way off that pair. There's a gospel tone to 'Stealin' Feelin' through the harmonies and organ playing and 'Mourning In Dixie' is another calm and collected ARS
influenced near ballad. There is one more rocker on offer, 'Down In The Mine', where some tremendous guitar work surfaces from John Rainey.
This makes for good listening and like so many others like it is in limbo destined to be a vinyl collectors item for years to come. John Rainey has since passed away as has Silva, both dying young. Justo left the band following this to pursue a career as a wine and spirits manager, but has played with ARS
in that time once again. There seems to be an unending stream of albums long forgotten like 'Dam It' and usually the music is first rate, this being no exception. As pointed out this is much lighter Southern Rock than most, but don't let that deter you, as its extremely melodic in terms of AOR values while sticking to its ideals down in the swamp. And that's really what most of us here are looking for.
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