Shaw Davis and The Black Ties: Tales From The West Review

Last October, Shaw Davis & The Black Ties released their sophomore album, Tales From The West, which debuted at #20 on the Roots Music Report Blues Rock Chart. Their unique, psychedelic blues-meets-grunge style has made them a band to watch since their formation in 2016. The band, out of Pompano Beach, FL, is composed of 24-year old Shaw Davis on vocals and guitar, Bobby Van Stone on drums, and Patrick Stevenson on bass.

Tales From The West highlights each musician from start to finish in 9 genre bending, high energy blues rock songs. The album opens with the funk metal “Take my Hand,” showing off Shaw’s gravelly voice and raw, fuzzy guitar sound. The drums and bass groove and drive the album from start to finish. In the vivid “Willie The Pimp,” Stevenson’s bass matches the guitar riffs, filling the song with a deep buzzing bassline. Shaw, in “Willie The Pimp,” takes on a fiery persona with his searing guitar licks and fury-filled voice. “Tales From The West,” a classic road song exhibits the dynamic ability of The Black Ties, calming the album and then picking back up with a wailing guitar solo. Throughout the album, Van Stone’s drums clatter and rattle in the background.

The album continues on its rollercoaster pace, introducing a feedback laden, traditional blues style in “Know Where You Been.” The laser-like sounds of the guitar solo over Van Stone and Stevenson’s instrumentation are one of the album’s highlights. The band’s ability to play precisely, in unison, is one of the reasons they are revered as a musical powerhouse. “Atomic Groove” exhibits this further. The song pushes through riffs reminiscent of Hendrix and a reference to his “Electric Church.” The bass controls the tempo and gives the entire album a depth of texture. The lyrics aren’t inspiring or groundbreaking, but the emotional sounds, carefully created by the musicians, tell a story. Tales From The West ends with the sounds of a coming storm in “My Friend.” The closer is influenced by grunge and surf rock as it powerfully builds from dark, ringing guitar and echoic chorus to a sweltering solo and bubbling bass. The song and album fade into the distance with the storm and the guitar.

Tales From The West is an album that shows Shaw Davis & The Black Ties’ ability to work together to build a wide variety of musical sounds. The album is a journey through ballads and classic blues themed songs, interlaced with impressive instrumental sections. Blues and rock roots fans should watch out for them as they continue their current Eastern U.S. tour and release more music.

The Review: 7.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Willie The Pimp
– Tales From The West
– Know Where You Been
– Atomic Groove
– My Friend

The Big Hit

– Atomic Groove

Review by Spencer Rubin

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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