Many years ago, when I was just a young pup, my father and I held many discussions about my taste in music. I won’t bore you with all the details because I’m sure many of you had many similar conversations with your own parental units. The usual final insult would be hurled that “it all sounds the same,” and then he would storm out of the room, his exit timed for dramatic effect.
Sure Pop, it all sounds the same. I often confuse The Rolling Stones with The Archies. And damn if Jimi Hendrix and The Carpenters are almost interchangeable.
I bring this up because a great many artists do use the sounds that their heroes created as a means of finding their own true sound. Some change their sound with every record or incorporate different styles into their own music. Think about Eric Clapton who has championed not only the blues for years, but also reggae and straight up rock.
This is a rather long winded way to get around to discussing Argentina born David M’ore and his new album, Passion, Soul & Fire. First off, that’s a great title. You have to think that there is no better description of what a musician must have in order to invest the time and effort necessary to become a true professional. Secondly, M’ore is a guitar wizard. Right now, I would put him up with many of the best who have ever picked up an axe, and in a few years when he develops more confidence in his slow playing, he’ll be one of those guys we all talk about and claim to have discovered.
Admittedly his vocals are a little rough. I’m not just saying that because of his Tom Waits-like gravelly growl, I think it’s more to do with the fact that he is so deeply invested in the guitar portion of the song that the singing takes a back seat. Don’t get me wrong, he can sing – and there are flashes of a deep connection with the song, but his main emphasis is clearly on the guitar.
M’ore handles all of the guitar and vocals and he is joined by Wade Olson on drums and David De Silva on bass. This power trio makes a mighty sound, and M’ore wrote all of the songs on the album except the last one, Deep Purple’s Mistreated. More on that one later.
The first song on the album is The Devil’s Land, and it’s a straight ahead blues rocker. M’ore and company seem to like to take their time with the introductions before moving along to the vocals. Of course, they are all strong players, so that’s not unusual. I like the song, and this is one you’ll be hearing on Time For The Blues.
He does slow things down for Love Again, a lush multi layered number. Here you can hear his love for rock, and his lyrics are strong. The rough vocal adds a different touch and might not be for everyone, but I kind of like the way the lyrics and vocals combine to make a different sound.
They follow up with a prog rock influenced Stronger Than I Realize. It’s a dark song, and at 8:36, it’s still not the longest cut on the album. I only mention that because it is difficult for those of us who work in terrestrial radio often don’t have the luxury of playing longer songs. Still it’s quite a number and would fit the format of the more progressive rock stations.
Next up is the first of two instrumentals on the album, Johan Sebastian Blues, which, as the title suggests, reimagines some of Bach’s work as a blues song. And it works. It just goes to show you that music can often be reworked into different styles without losing its power.
He starts off the longest cut on the album, You Said You Love Me, with a blistering guitar lead. He’s got a lot of power in his lead work, and while some of his riffs are slower and more controlled, he does seem more confident in his faster runs.
He follows that by switching guitars and the tone of the songs. Sweet Little Baby, is a gentler old school sounding number. He builds it nicely into a very good hard driving song.
The 12 Song starts out as another power song, the guitar riffs push and the rhythm section holds the song together. His growl is more pronounced on this song making the lyrics a bit more difficult to hear. He follows up with another powerful song, Cold Blooded. He’s using a Resonator style guitar to open the song before moving into his more comfortable guitar. Sorry tech people, I know he’s using a Strat, but I believe it’s custom made and I can tell you he gets good tone from it.
Next up is Every Time I Think Of You, a blistering number that makes the most of his growl as well as his six-string pyrotechnics. Funky It Up is the second instrumental and true to its title, brings a bit of crunchy funk into the mix.
The last song written by M’ore is Liar, a swinging number that has some serious blues chops. The group is in really good form on this song and this one will get some air play.
The album concludes with a fun flat out jam of Deep Purple’s Mistreated. To me, the interesting thing about his song is that is wasn’t intended to be a cover, it was just a spontaneous coming together at the end of the recording session. It was their own private celebration that just happened to be so good, M’ore and the group decided to include it on the album.
M’ore is a strong proponent of the rock and blues connection, and let me tell you, he can play with the best of them. He reminds me in many ways of players like Joe Bonamassa, Johnny Winter, and shows flashes of Hendrix as well. There is a certain strength in his playing, but despite those qualifications, he might not appeal to blues purists. Take some time to check him out at http://www.davidmore.net/ and if you like what you hear, pick up some albums.
Or see where he’s going to be playing. If it’s anywhere near me, you better believe I’ll be there. I have a feeling he puts on one helluva show!