The Maynard Brothers Band

The Maynard Brothers Band

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On their self-titled album, the Johnsonville, New York-based Maynard Brothers Band delivered a robust mix of rough blues and blistering rock, never fully delving into one without exploring the fringes of the other. The trio played with a tightness and intensity not often found on debut recordings, which isn't surprising given that the group's members had played for 30 years around upstate New York before making it into the studio. Performances are fine throughout - Erv Maynard's manic guitar solo on I Want to Be Your Man evokes prime Johnny Winter, and drummer Harold Reiser keeps a dependable groove -- but what set the disc apart from other regional blues releases was the quality of Maynard's compositions. The richness of metaphor in Don't Call It Love, the wry vulnerability of Better Things to Do, and the uncanny mood-setting of No Devils pointed to a songwriter not content to stay within the increasingly narrow confines of standard blues-rock fare. The Maynards' vocals, while adequate, hadn't quite caught up with the other aspects of their musicianship; still, the band's debut showed that roadhouse raunch didn't have to be puerile, and it did so without sacrificing fierceness or grit.

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