Released on Telarc, Badlands is the debut album this trio of siblings, which consists of Danielle Schnebelen (lead vocals and bass), Nick Schnebelen (guitars and vocals), and Kris Schnebelen, (drums). The band is in good company with producer (and drummer for Robert Cray), Tony Braunagel, who had previously worked with the group on their 2011 release Wrong Side of the Blues. Braunagel brought back two musicians who also played on the previous album, Johnny Lee Schell on acoustic guitar and keyboardist Mike Finnigan, known for his work with Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, and Etta James. Although this is basically a blues-soul album, Trampled Under Foot aren't afraid to branch out a bit and incorporate elements of gospel, rock, and funk. Their cover version of the James Brown classic "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World" shows off Danielle's dynamic vocal range accompanied by an arrangement that is even more dramatic than the original! Braunagel's influence is evident on the tracks "Bad Bad Feeling," which is similar to Bonnie Raitt's work in the '90s, and the title track "Badlands," which sounds like it could have been on a Robert Cray album. Trampled Under Foot's first major-label release will appeal to a wide audience without the group having to compromise their blues roots.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Al Campbell