Bird Dog Bobby Band
Time To Live In
Lakehouse Records; 2011
The Bird Dog Bobby Band delivers upbeat creative originals with deeply rooted versions of blues classics, all of which reflect the members’ extensive range and depth of experience.
Their encyclopedic knowledge of the blues is evident in the tasteful composition and razor-sharp execution of original songs marked by stunning guitar wizardry and smooth, emotional vocals. All of these factors make the whole of this band greater than the sum of its parts. Listen, and you’ll be rewarded with one well-executed riff after another, each new, but inextricably linked to long traditions of other blues masters.
Drummer Reno Mussatto’s powerful vocals and solid grooves always have just the right feel, and Gary Whitehead bonds the rhythm section together with perfectly balanced bass lines. The band’s namesake, Bob “Bird Dog” Rhoads (guitar and vocals) rounds out this trio, which is comprised of former members of the Smoking Torpedoes and the Honey Hounds.
Made up of 13 original tunes, Time to Live In stems from the members’ personal experiences and is truly a labor of love. It bounces between accounts of life on the road (“Headed to Memphis”) and clever subversions of classic blues tropes, like opener “Who Told This Joker He Could Drive?” which is a thinly veiled critique of Obama and his administration.
Other standouts include heavy ’70s-era rocker “Get Outta Town,” the swaggering, witty “Breakfast Time,” and “River of Life,” which sounds like a reggae-flecked outtake from the Band. This level of musicianship often comes at the expense of soul, but the Bird Dog Bobby Band have it in spades, as evinced by moving closer and title track “Time to Live In.” Rather than ending things with an abrupt bang, its slight, tasteful strings arrangement sets things back to an expectant simmer, a promise perhaps of more to come from this incredible group.
Catch the Bird Dog Bobby Band on Saturday, August 20 from 2 to 6 p.m. on the deck at the Beach Shack (1 Minutemen Cswy., Cocoa Beach; 783-2250). Check out their Reverbnation site — www.reverbnation.com/birddogbobbyband — where you can listen to all the songs off Time to Live In for free and view other upcoming local dates.