'Rhythm and Blueprints'

(Berger Platters)


MARK: 90/100


The Renovators are the true 'Blues Brothers', trust me, not the bastard asses in 1980's John Landis' homonymous flick! The Hemberger brothers own and operate the Loft Recording Studios, which hosted pop artists like Christine Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Britney Spears, N'SYNC, Procol Harum and many more. Bob Mayo, keyboard, guitar and vocals has toured and recorded with Aerosmith, Foreigner, Robert Plant, Hall and Oates, Peter Frampton and Dan Fogelberg.
They are not only good songwriters but also lively lyricists, and they seem united and full of positive fun. Politically correct, still not boring people with a smart edge.

You can find a lot of styles here, from the pure blues to R&B, rockabilly, old rock, retro-surf rock, country, jazz, and even reggae, all of which effectively mixed with blues.

My favorite text is the one in "The Big One", gifted with excellent vocal lines. The groove and the melody are always on the top in the 4 hyronical guys' hard blues, however, there is also place for a romantic Blues ballad, "Who's to Blame".
If you like 50's rock, then you'll find it in a harder version in the country blues-rock "Never Really Saw Your Face".
As the title suggests, "Everybody Loves the Blues" is one of those songs that'll make you fall into the spell of this music, although you didn't like the Blues so much before. We are at the same level as BB King, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard and other monsters of the genre, yet here there's more rock and energy, so I'm convinced that the young'll dig it too.
And here it comes, it's time for my favorite song musically speaking, I'm referring to "Special Ride", really an involving rock song, enriched at the end by a top-notch guitar work, before the above cited unexpectedly successful mix in "Blue Reggae". I believe "I Keep Dreamin'" is another composition to be mentioned, as it makes me feel the 4 NY and Portland minstrels are quite sensitive human beings, which is a rare goods nowadays everyplace, as far as my experiences have taught me.

So, besides just being redundant in recommending this CD together with "Blues Country", I'll close with a curiosity question for the band themselves: did the shops and companies which advertised in the CD pay you to appear there or give you lotta free stuff in exchange?
Anyhow, "Rhythm and Blueprints" has been able to consolate me in this financial-, attitude-, job- and aura-wise awful year, and I assure you it's not an easy task with a true, weak, pessimist and disilluded man like me.
Why isn't everyone like them?



With These Hands (96, outa print)
In Real Time (97)
Sheetrock the House (98, outta print)
Rhthm and Blueprints (2000)
Live at Pete's 1991 (2001)
Blues Country (2002)