By Lisa Waugh
The Magic Lightning Boys are proof that there’s always room for blues rock. The only rule, you can’t suck. It’s a tricky genre that doesn’t suffer fools well. Surprisingly, these guys didn’t just roll up out of the bayou, Mississippi, or Muscle Shoals. They hail from Cincinnati and Stealin’ Thunder will take you back if you’re of a certain age, or bring your into the light if you haven’t exposed your ears to swamp music before.
But it’s not just a blues rock record. There’s a lot going on. The album is nicely layered with hard cord ripping tracks (“Fear & Freedom” and “Rubber Side Down”) and a few gorgeous and peaceful tunes such as “The Cleansing,” “Bondo’s Ballad,” and “Before the Storm.” If you’re looking for some authentic gator music, you can’t do any better than “Bones” and “Nan’s Poem.” The latter is eerily engaging.
Sometimes the playlist gets stuck in a rut and sometimes you need old school blues from the fingertips of a young band to catapult you out. The genre has survived for so long because of its restorative effects. The Magic Lightning Boys have earned the right to be here because their music follows the great tradition of penance via howling at the moon with some ballads as a healing balm afterwards. Stealin’ Thunder reminds you to unwind and lay down those rocks you’ve been carrying for a while.
The Magic Lightning Boys have drawn from the greats that came before them, and they are certainly giving back.
Casey Gomez – Vocals, harp, piccolo bass
Brian Tarter – Guitar, backing Vocals
Richie Lee – Bass
Kurt Lipphardt – Drums
Self-produced, mixed by Dave Cornett at 3rd St. Music
Mastering by Brian Lucey of Magic Garden Mastering
Stealin’ Thunder Tracklisting:
Before The Storm
Fear & Freedom
Rubber Side Down