Blues Rock Review

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Eddie 9V: Capricorn Review

Expanding upon 2021’s stellar Little Black Flies, Eddie 9V returns with Capricorn, a larger, louder, and more thoughtful continuation of his sophomore LP. With his brother Lane Kelly once again handling production as well as occasional bass duties, the highly talented musical ensemble turns their focus toward the soul and funk side of their throwback sound, creating a set that consists of much more than an amplified revisit of albums past.

Working out of Macon, Georgia’s Capricorn Studios, the Kelly Brothers judiciously take advantage of their surroundings. Adding more instrumentation and a bit more production value, Eddie 9V colorfully fattens the band’s sound while avoiding the common pitfall of overloading the mix and creating an unpalatable sonic stew. Instruments are selectively chosen for certain tracks, and omitted altogether when unnecessary—as they should be. As a result, Eddie 9V maintains his raw, vintage sound, and the album never fatigues the ear from the overuse of any particular instrument.

“Beg Borrow And Steal” begins the set with a few slick guitar licks, horns, and a lot more soul than blues compared with the offerings on Little Black Flies. A tad flashier than the guttural blues that Eddie 9V has perfected, the extra touch of production suits his sound well, and the following “Yella Alligator” throws in a buzzy slide riff combined with a cool vocal cadence to create some funky semi-psychedelia. The tandem of Chad Mason and Spencer Pope help by laying a warm bed of organic sounding Rhodes piano and organ sounds on the number, as they do throughout the album. Both tracks are two of the album’s best. 

Perhaps the collection’s top song, “How Long” features Capricorn’s strongest verse/chorus change, it’s best guitar solo, and near-perfect use of background singers. As such, it’s an easy candidate for repeat listenings for those consuming their music digitally. “Tryin’ To Get By,” a simple song at face value, features more great backing vocals and bell-like rhodes in a perfect example of what can be achieved with a great arrangement coupled with restrained-but-expressive musicianship. “Mary Don’t You Weep,” shares more in common with field songs from another century than a modern blues vocal performance. Covers, “Bout To Make Me Leave Home” and “Down By The Cove” are distinct from their originals in both sound and attitude. The former, made popular by Bonnie Raitt,” opens menacingly before sliding into a funk-laden groove that bears little resemblance to its forebearer, and the latter cuts the hardest blues of the set, a far cry from Dylan’s country-tinged original.

There’s a lot to like about Capricorn. Eddie 9V’s lyrics are honest and direct as always, but the songwriting is a step above previous efforts. His voice continues to age nicely, showing late-night gruff as well as a high-range falsetto that sparkles. Arrangements and production also hit the mark, and while some blues purists might miss a bit of the stripped-down rawness of Little Black Flies, they should quickly come around after hearing how the band can tackle soul and funk with equal aplomb. Now three-for-three, Eddie 9V continues his streak of joyful, organic, genre-bending gems. 

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Beg Borrow And Steal
– Yella Alligator
– Bout To Make Me Leave Home
– How Long
– Down Along The Cove
– Mary Don’t You Weep

The Big Hit

– How Long

Buy the album: Amazon

Willie Witten

Willie Witten spends entirely too much time lost in music. Guitars, amplifiers, and random instruments litter his house, yet he continues to build more equipment in his workshop. When not playing guitar, or meditating under headphones, you might catch him at a concert. A walking encyclopedia of music for sure, but the man is obsessed.

One thought on “Eddie 9V: Capricorn Review

  • January 27, 2023 at 2:45 pm
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    Johnny Jenkins does a mean version of “Down Along the Cove” with Duane Allman on slide. This version sound a lot like that one. I actually never made the connection it was a Dylan song until just now

    Reply

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