by Floco Torres
The Conway Brothers have one mission and that’s to “carry the torch of original, NEO-based blues/funk/soul/rock music into the future.” I would personally advise against taking on such a robust task because so many have tried before, but the beautiful thing about music is that there’s always an opportunity to be pleasantly surprised. Whether Corey and Dylan will achieve their goal remains to be seen, but what can be said is that their album “Told You So” is a step in the right direction.
All eight songs on the album were written, recorded and arranged in a living room in Kent (except track seven which was arranged by Allen Toussaint). Sonically, “Told You So” sounds bright and crisp in all the right places. There’s no attempt to over-polish Corey Conway’s vocals, and drummer/percussionist Dylan Conway is solid throughout. “Breakthrough” features a catchy trumpet riff (that I SWORE was from something else but couldn’t find it) from Jon Lampley, a member of the house band on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Chad Tisch pops in smoothly on a few songs to provide background vocals but the heavy lifting is done by Corey, who also plays bass and guitar.
There’s only one instrumental song on the record in “tamPING” and the brothers kept the jamming to a tasteful minimum. Solid musicianship carries any blues tune for the most part, and The Conway Brothers nail it in that regard. The album boasts solid tunes to ride to and I’m sure they make a pretty danceable live set, but “Told You So” lacks a little in emotion and grit. I don’t think they should try and reinvent the wheel, but some of my favorite blues records are a little more aggressive in message and delivery. It does however sound like two brothers having fun doing what they love to do, and that’s not a bad thing. Maybe when it’s all said and done, The Conway Brothers will be sitting back as pioneers of their respective lane smiling because they indeed did tell us so.
(Photos of The Conway Brothers)