Live at the Tractor

You probably never heard of this small independent R/B, soul, blues, and old time rock-n-roll band out of Seattle, WA, called Garage Voice. With nine years of playing together, two LP’s, and two EP’s under their belts, they have decided to come out with a live EP called Live at the Tractor. Garage Voice combines old time hooks with a new school look and style to create something notably original in a super unoriginal music scene. I have one word for you: refreshing!

Cropper” starts off with some cool organ lines courtesy of Bruce Pearson and his new Hammond C3 organ. “Cropper” is a perfect intro track that makes the listener take the music seriously and not just as background noise; even without lyrics you’ll want to hit the repeat button on your player. Tommy Panigot’s electrifying electric guitar which screams old-time soul gets this track rockin’ and gets this album rolling right along.

“Blood on the Door Post” brings in that rock-n-roll sound that I was talking about up top. Tommy’s electric guitar sounds like it should be on an early Rolling Stone’s album back when they where into a dirty blues style. Tommy Panigot’s lead vocals are “ruff and gruff” and sweet at the same time.Don’t ask me how he does it; I don’t know. All I know is it fits the genre of music they play masterfully. Next up is “Have I Wounded You Enough?” It’s a nice ballad that makes the listener want to whip out a lighter or for the younger folk a cell phone. Bruce’s sick organ playing is back and with a vengeance setting the tone for a laid-back song that breaks out in the end with a soul and blues version of a metalcore breakdown.

“Do No Harm” takes the real soul of yesteryears and combines it with a Jazz and Nu-Jazz sound. The upright bass makes its first audible appearance in the album by playing for roughly 20 to 30 seconds of pure jazz goodness. Tommy’s guitar is rougher and grittier on this song than on the rest and brings to mind a less rocking Led Zeppelin resonance. “Loud as Your Miracles” brings up the actual R/B music that everybody seems to have forgotten except for a rare few like Garage Voice. Patrick Toney’s pulsating drums lead this whole song with Tommy’s vocals complemented by the beautiful harmonies of the rest of the group completing this melody perfectly. This song will bring to mind Booker T. and the MG’s and many others of that era.

Garage Voice has been under the radar for nine years begging to be discovered and after one listen-through I could understand why with their great hooks harmonies Tommy’s lead vocals and the beautiful but subtle organ playing by Bruce. The album has no down side but if I had to name one it would be that it’s too short. So if you’re looking for originality look no further than Garage Voice. These guys are like a stick of dynamite waiting to explode on the music scene so get ready because here they go–KA-BOOM!

Garage Voice is for fans of NewWorldSon Booker T. and the MG’s and Ravenhill.

Brian Morrissette