Even aware of the nature of this CD beforehand, I never expected a jam band this refined and tight. Guitarist Jeremy Hilliard is unbelievable on guitar, the lead and harmony vocals are great, the rhythm section flawless, and the marriage of rock, pop, and jam damn near unique. The first cut takes your head off with its speedy blend of Hilliard Knopflering between several tonal modes (even sounding like a keyboard!), Ryan Rightmire's Jon Popper-ish harmonica perfection, and the bass and drums of Justin Kimmel and Jason Nazary prodding them to keep right at it. The second cut picks straight up from the first, exhilarating as all get out, another fleet exercise in catchy melody and uber-precise chops.
Turbine is mindblowingly adept at blending the best of several worlds: an earthy base of Americana, jumpin' rock, clever jam, and even buckets of prog a la the great jam bands (Man, Widespread Panic, Dixie Dregs, etc.). The lyrics are superb, telling stories both fatalistic and positive, providing country wisdom at the grassroots level, but the music, O, the music! On Blackout Song, Hilliard switches up from his earlier Knopfler for a truly Southern-based Dickey Betts lead summoning back why Duane chose him for co-lead in the Allmans. And I'd sure like to know who plays the keyboards; even more, I'd like to know how the hell Rightmire distorted his harmonica so bizarrely. Catch Stand Down and see if you can figure it out…or is it even the harmonica? The keyboards sampling him? What? Very very cool.
Reward is one of those discs that comes along only every so often: thoroughly unique. In my collection, I have a number of one-off (sometimes two-off) LPs held and savored as unknown treasures: Byzantium, Barnaby Bye, Capability Brown, Tranquility, Nite City, Paris, and a generous double handful of others. This now joins them. The sheer joy demonstrated in the making of this CD is guaranteed to put a big big smile on your face and the boogie in your bottom. Not a cut here is less than a gem, and each one of these gents was born to play. In a word: fanfuckingtastic!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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