Damon Fowler

Sounds of Home

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Gulf Coast roots guitarist and lap steel maestro Damon Fowler's swampy mix of blues, bayou R&B, country, rockabilly, sacred steel, and swing has, at its best, a taut, precise, and haunting tension underlining Fowler's gently hoarse, easy, and naturally flowing everyman vocals. While it's tempting to call Fowler a blues player, and he does feature plenty of blues in all of his sets and albums, he has enough country in his voice and enough pop smarts in his songwriting to paint on a wider canvas than that. Sounds of Home, his sixth album and third for Blind Pig Records, shows this clearly, from the opener, "Thought I Had It All," an eerie, swampy confessional, through the drive-the-highway pop of "Spark," the bright, bouncy, and melodic country shuffle of "Where I Belong," and sharp covers of Elvis Costello's "Alison" and Johnny Winter's "TV Mama" (these two, along with the charming version of the traditional "I Shall Not Be Moved" that closes the album, are the only ones here that Fowler didn't write). Produced by Tab Benoit and recorded at Whiskey Bayou Studios in Houma, Louisiana, Sounds of Home has a deep, clear, and full-room sound, with Fowler's guitar lines cutting though sharp as Texas wind over a Louisiana swamp, and when he goes to the lap steel, well, it's like a sleek and chiming gospel angel just flew into the room.

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