Once Upon A Time In The South Loop is the new album from upcoming artists The Planetary Blues Band. Close to Chicago, the band hails from Valparasio, Indiana. They pull influences from other artists who call Chicago home as well, including Buddy Guy and Son Seals. As a ten year old band, The Planetary Blues Band started out in their mother’s basement. The trio of brothers have paid their dues playing in bars and festivals. Martin Schaefer-Murray plays guitar and does vocals. His brother Michael Schaefer-Murray also plays guitar and does vocals. Their brother Bobby Schaefer-Murray plays bass along Nick Evans on drums.
The first track heard on the album “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” begins with Evans’ percussion. Following, a Southern sounding voice joins while guitars and bass keep the emotion going. The guitars in this track keep you tuned in and wanting more. “The Thorns Will Show You” has funky sounding vocals. Those vocals are joined later by a wonderfully placed guitar solo that really emits excitement and passion. “That’s No Way To Get Along” has a Southern groove with a classic style. One of my favorites from the album, it makes you want to sway and tap your feet along. The beginning of “Sacred and Profane Blues” brings you right into the tune. Right away, great guitar riffs are the key part of this track. It’s one that makes you want to get up and dance. “Blues Resurrection” makes you feel like you’re in an older bar having a stiff drink. Sitting back, you are able to hear the drums and bass keeping the steady rhythm as the vocals and guitars bring their own groove to the track. One of the final tracks, “When I Say I Love You” has a strong guitar solo at the start of the song. The prominent guitar is heard all the way through this track. Solid bass lines guide this song all the way to the end. The smooth vocals in this song tell a love story that draws the listener in. The final track offers an older blues style in “The Shillelagh.” The whole track is an instrumental and is a perfect way to end this album. Although the blues is usually used to describe a “depressing” type of emotion, this track emits funk and a happy sound.
The Planetary Blues Band is someone you want to keep on your radar. They’re able to take an older genre and incorporate new and fresh sounds. Although they’re from Chicago, they sound like a band that’s been playing on Memphis’s Beale Street for years.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
– The Thorns Will Show You
– That’s No Way To Get Along
– The Shillelagh
The Big Hit
– The Shillelagh
Review by Dana Ainsworth