CD Review: DocFell & Co. “Dust Bowl Heart”

Posted: March 28, 2017 in Music
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DocFell & Co. CoverMuch of today’s Country music radio sounds as if it was nothing more than Rock and Roll with a Southern accent. And while there are some really good artists out there today creating that style, what is sadly missing from today’s Country radio are artists that want to keep at least some of the old traditional Country sound alive. Thankfully, there are still a few people who are still out there looking to incorporate some of the old style back into the modern version of Country music. One artist keeping some of that traditional Country flavor alive is Dr. John Fell, also known as DocFell.

While spending his days as a general practitioner, Dr, John Fell spends his free time creating Country music that incorporates just a little Pop-rock flavor that helps to bring the traditional Country music style into the 21st Century. To help bring that Country/Pop-rock mixture to life, singer-songwriter/guitarist John Fell is joined by multi-instrumentalist Kyle Brown and several others including John Barker (electric bass guitar), Kevin Rose and Joe Sloan (percussion) who help to make up the ensemble known as DocFell and Co. Just recently, the ensemble released the 2017 album entitled Dust Bowl Heart.

Dust Bowl Heart begins with “Lonesomeville”. The first few seconds of the track features a very Old-Timey and tinny sound to the track as if it had been created near the advent of recording. The track segues into a much more upbeat feel that features a Country sound reminiscent of Jerry Reed’s songs, especially something like “Tupelo Mississippi Flash”. The track about a very lonely man has a strangely upbeat feel to the music, considering the lonesome nature of the person in the song that is telling the story.

With the song “Love Sick,” DocFell and Co. takes their sound back a few decades. The track features a Classic Country sound that would have been around in the early fifties. The song’s style definitely brings to mind something from somebody George Jones or any of the other male Country stars from the same era of the music. The inclusion of the callbacks from the band really adds a lot of energy to the Old time feel of the track.

On the track “Oklahoma Lady,” DocFell and Co. create a track that seems to be more than a little bit influenced by the musical supergroup the Eagles. This seems to contain feel of some of that band’s tunes that they would be famous for. “Oklahoma Lady” has the same type of magic that was found on songs like “Desperado” or “The Best of My Love”. One of the main elements on the song that gives the track that Eagles flavor is the playing from guitarist Kyle Brown that brings to mind the style of that band. “Oklahoma Lady” also contains a certain amount of retro flavor that would have made the track perfect for radio airplay back in the seventies at the same time that the Eagles were climbing the charts.

Dust Bowl Heart continues with “Home on the Hill”. On this song, DocFell and Co. bring to mind yet another band that contained a similar Country Rock vibe like The Eagles were known for. “Home on the Hill” contains a lyrical and musical style that is reminiscent of Michael Nesmith and the First National Band, especially off of that band’s Magnetic South release. The track also contains a little bit of flavor that would remind some of the song “Garden Party” from Rick Nelson. The combination of the styles on “Home on the Hill” creates a track that feels very familiar to the listener and would easily have fit on radio a few decades ago. But that doesn’t mean that the track feels outdated. It would easily feel right at home on radio today.

While most of the Dust Bowl Heart release from DocFell and Co. incorporates a lot of earlier styles of Country music, the track “Broken Heart” brings the music of the band up to today’s style of Country music. The Country/Rock hybrid that is so prevalent on today’s Country stations is just the style that makes up the sound for “Broken Heart”. In a duet-style setting, the vocals of the song ask “Whatcha gonna do with a broken heart?” Of any of the songs on the new album from DocFell and Co, “Broken Heart” is easily the track that would fit well on today’s Country music formats.

Throughout the ten songs that make up the Dust Bowl Heart release from DocFell and Co, there is plenty of variety for those fans of Country music. No matter what era of the style you gravitate towards, there is something for you on this solid album from Dr, John Fell, Kyle Brown and the rest of the gang.

To check out the sound of DocFell and Co, click HERE for the song “Oklahoma Lady”.

 

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