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New single from The Paladins – UPDATED

Paladins LUX02 IMG_9462_large

The Paladins

Should Have Been Dreamin’ b/w Wicked

Lux Records 7”, 2013

http://www.luxrecordsusa.com/products/thepaladins-45-vinyl-wicked

https://www.facebook.com/thepaladinsband

Update: Wicked is now available as a digital download –

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wicked-single/id666900368?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Nick Curran’s death was without question the worst news I received in 2012. Second on my list was the breakup, right about the time their second album was to be released, of the Stone River Boys, the country soul band fronted by Dave Gonzalez and Mike Barfield. As has been said, one door closes, another opens. Just as the Stone River Boys offered musical consolation after Chris Gaffney’s death in 2008 put a premature end to the sublime Hacienda Brothers, Gonzalez’s previous band, so have recent developments rekindled hope that the mighty Paladins will rise again. In the past few months, an official Facebook page has appeared; a few live dates have been scheduled and played; and a 45 rpm vinyl record presenting two new songs has been issued by Lux Records.

The last great Paladins lineup of Dave Gonzalez (guitars and vocals), Thomas Yearsley (bass), and Brian Fahey (drums) is reunited on this 7”. Briefly, the single is essential listening for R&B aficionados in general, and, although the band’s roots-rocking side is sublimated here in favor of the soul sounds Gonzalez developed in the Hacienda Brothers and SRB projects, for Paladins fans in particular.

“Should Have Been Dreamin’,” the record’s instrumental A side, reaches back to the mid-‘60s for a sweet soul/rock ‘n’ roll combination, with splashes of surf. Organ, guitar, and baritone guitar outline a lovely melody atop a soul-clap snare drum pattern. A leisurely paced number that builds in intensity, it reminds me in a small way of the dreamlike interpretations by Ry Cooder and Duke Levine of “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” (but not Ike & Tina Turner’s stuttering original).

The hip flip side, “Wicked,” is a blues/pop/rock/soul number. There are some very cool rhythmic things going on, with the palm-muted staccato guitar figure sketching a vaguely Latin groove. Quick, stark shifts between minor key verses and romantic, major key interludes that suggest the soulful work of Thee Midnighters produce an uneasy feeling. Haunting organ, bluesy guitar, an ominous lyric, a spoken section heavy with echo, and a key signature that tests the top end of Gonzalez’s natural singing range all add to the song’s dramatic impact.

The Paladins are back. Let’s hope these two excellent songs presage a full-length album. In the meantime, this boss single is a limited edition release, so get it while you can.

TOM HYSLOP

I bought this single from the Lux Records Web site.

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About mrtom1

More than a lifelong fan, I am a degenerate music fiend. I was a staff writer and contributing editor for the print version of Blues Revue for more than 15 years, and serve in the same capacity for the excellent new publication Blues Music Magazine (bluesmusicmagazine.com). I have contributed to the newsletters of the Golden Gate Blues Society and the Detroit Blues Society, and freelance, writing artist biographies, liner notes, and all types of promotional materials. I support the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research (http://seancostellofund.org/) and The Blues Foundation (www.blues.org/), and encourage you to learn more about these important causes. Please support live music and buy CDs by your favorite artists! If you care to submit your CD, DVD/Blu-Ray, book, or other media for consideration and possible coverage, please contact me at tahyslop[AT]gmail.com.

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