Arbor Creek is a psychedelic blues rock jam band that is currently a quartet comprised of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist David Drilling, drummer Frank Dvorak, bassist Alex Ford and lead guitarist Larry Huff. The group first formed in 2014 in Joliet, Illinois to play authentic rock & roll with soul. Their music is influenced by a combination of blues legends like Buddy Guy, Freddie King and Muddy Waters along with rock and roll icons like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. Arbor Creek first released an EP in 2016 and an eponymous full album in 2018 which led to its 2022 release Thanks For Wading. The album has a total of nine original songs that showcases their unique sound and instrumental prowess.
“Shoes” is the first guitar driven cut that begins with a lament over shoes until the guitar fully kicks in at the midpoint and the rest of the song is a sonically ascending and descending jam. “Make Your Mind Up” was the lead single from Thanks For Wading which the band describes as “a love letter to the blues” featuring “a dirty guitar tone and a heavy hitting groove.” Drilling’s versatile voice is able to transform to take on a different character when needed and is reminiscent of Frank Zappa in this case. “Cold In Chicago” is a slow blues lament with frigid guitar notes resonating with the vocals to conjure up a cold wind blowing off Lake Michigan.
“George and Eddie” is a rollicking instrumental that is a cross between Country and Bluegrass with a fast picking banjo sounding guitar. “Power of the Throne” has Drilling wailing in a gravely voice “you reap what you sow” with Huff following with a stinging guitar guitar solo.”Lovely Summer Day” is a bright Beatlesque “We are all one in the same” pop sounding song rocking out to the band until Huff’s screaming guitar takes over.
“Dune Scave” opens to sparse solo guitar notes that play intermittently throughout the song while Dvorak and Ford establish a plodding rhythm that Drilling contributes vocals to. “Moment in May” opens to a happy finger picking guitar that plays a Tommy Emmanuel styled instrumental. “Day Is Gonna Come – Day Is Here” is the final cut and must have originally been two songs. It contains some excellent guitar playing and the drum solo at the end along with the extended outro brings the album to a dramatic conclusion.
Overall, Thanks For Wading is enjoyable to listen to and the selections draw the listener in. At the same time, the musicianship is excellent from Drilling’s vocals to Huff’s lead guitar prowess.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Make Your Mind Up
– Lovely Summer Day
– Cold In Chicago
– Power of the Throne
The Big Hit
– Cold In Chicago