Snake Mary: 11 17 Review

Snake Mary is a newly formed band that has just sprouted up from the roots of UK blues rock.  The group is the culmination of guitarist and songwriter Kevin Barber’s efforts to complete the album he’d always been meant to record. After a fourteen-month long quest in search for the perfect Voice to sing his music, Barber stumbled upon Beccy Brennan at seedy jam session in Germany. Snake Mary was finally perfected when the last missing piece of the puzzle—Brennan’s partner Damon—popped up to serve as drummer.

The debut album 11 17 opens hard with “Dystopia,” a powerful track nurtured by a wailing harmonica and cautionary lyrics bemoaning the ills of humanity. The silly second track “Holly Got A Monkey” highlights Damon’s drumming and includes vocals by Barber as well as Brennan. On “Let’s Walk In The Fire,” Snake Mary showcases their versatility and dynamic sounds, utilizing a double bass and vocal looping on Brennan. “Lay By The River” is a toe-tapping track with surprisingly macabre lyrics, followed by the ballad “Consequences,” the band’s first single. “And You Will Know My Name” is a grittier track written in the spirit of vengeance, while “Sucker” is a sexy, bluesy track speaking of a love affair that shouldn’t be. “Cry No More” opens with an enticing blues riff and follows through with Brennan’s authoritative vocals and Barber’s guitar shredding. Brennan’s voice evokes Karen Carpenter in the album’s acoustic closing track, “All Our Birds Have Flown,” while Barber also incorporates a delicate string section.

Snake Mary is the manifestation of Barber’s lifelong musical aspirations. Drawing inspiration from figures such as Rory Gallagher and Joe Bonamassa, Barber blends aspects from country, blues, rock, and at times soul, to create a varied and eclectic sound. Barber should be proud to have successfully recorded the album that he’d always dreamt of, and should be prepared gain a following of blues fans that enjoy his album.

The Rating: 7/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Dystopia
– Lay By The River
– Consequences

The Big Hit

– Dystopia

Review by Eileen Quaranto

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