By Peter Marinus.
Randy Lee Riviere is a singer-songwriter, who is often accommodated in the Americana corner. Although there are indeed Americana influences in his music, his third album proves that there is much more going on. Randy Lee often rocks in a raw way. One time grimly hard and the other time brooding and sweating. His vocals are very dark and raw and are more like a narrator than a singer.
On his latest album, Randy Lee is assisted by Kenneth Blevins (drums, John Hiatt), David Santos (bass), producer Kevin McKendree (guitar, keyboards, vocals, a.o. Delbert McClinton) and the McCrary Sisters (Ann, Regina and Freda) (backing vocals).
The album opens with the brooding funking American Redoubt with very mean and grim guitar work. Then Randy Lee and his band continue to rock lazy and fuzzy with You’re So Kind in which it seems as if Lou Reed is accompanied by Crazy Horse. The Crazy Horse (and therefore Neil Young) influences can also be heard in the bluesy and raw Needles with caciting guitar playing and especially in Joseline.
The Neil Young influences are mixed with a Tom Verlaine-like quirkyness in the creepy rocker Old Country’s Son. The blues is somewhat discussed in the sweaty dragging What You Know About Pain?
There are two songs on the album in which the Americana comes out the most. The warm and intimate Just One More Time and the softly tinging closing of the album Cold Cold River.
‘Blues Sky’ is a great unpolished rock album by Randy Lee Riviere!