George McConnell: Singles Only


Over the last few months George McConnell has been going back to the glory days of rock and roll releasing “Virtual 45’s” complete with B-Side’s.  Come to think of it, that is pretty close to the glory days of today an I-tunes, but either which way McConnell decided to combine all his individual tunes into this full length titled, appropriately enough, Singles Only.  There is a juke-joint, honky-tonk, pool-hall, vibe coursing through these songs.  McConnell’s guitar playing is Memphis southern fried soul, slithering and sliding around, puncturing when need be or boogie-woogie’in’ in the background.  A staple of the Southern jam scene McConnell also doesn’t shy away from blending genres, straight up rock is everywhere, but note the reggae flashes on “Hey Man”, the country twanged “Veronica Blue” and a dash of funk on the instrumental “Mr. Cropper”.

McConnell’s guitar playing has earned him the lion share of his respect in the past, but his voice here is utterly engaging and should be praised as well.  A more “every man” vocal mix of Chris Robinson and Tom Petty, McConnell can convey the blues with a slight rasp or joy with a vocal smirk.  An interesting release to listen to as a full length because it was specifically not recorded in this manner, but the songs smoke and it is hard to pick out the “B-side’s” if you’re not familiar with the project.  In the end the bluesy numbers like “Goodbye, So Long” and “Feel No Pain” may work a bit better then the out and out rockers like “Compass Lost” and “Here We Come Now”, but whatever the format all are worth a listen.         

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