Left Lane Cruiser’s Bring Yo’ Ass to the Table amped up North Mississippi blues

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Left Lane Cruiser plays North Mississippi-style blues, like a lot of blues bands do these days. They just play it louder and harsher than anyone else – and that includes the North Mississippi All Stars. There’s nothing subtle or sophisticated about Left Lane Cruiser: Their music lunges straight for your soul and puts a stranglehold on it, until you’re involuntarily rocking along.

When I first heard them, I thought they were a three- or four-piece Southern band presenting a rawer version of the Black Crowes. Turns out, it’s just two guys from Fort Wayne, Indiana. “Left Lane Cruiser was born as a two-piece,” Evans later said, “and our attack and style of blues just works better as a duo.”

But this ain’t no Black Keys. Left Lane Cruiser is trashier, punkier, and typically way more authentic sounding. Joe Evans plays a righteous and riotous slide guitar with snarling lead vocals, while Brenn Beck (since replaced by Pete Dio) played a bass drum, cymbal, washboard, harmonica, and a homemade kit of various thingies to bang on. The dude was just a human multi-percussion machine.

Released on January 8, 2008, Bring Yo’ Ass to the Table was their second album – and first for Alive Records, beginning a lengthy relationship with Left Lane Cruiser. Featured are a dozen originals that sounded like they were composed on a front porch in Tupelo with a Marshall amp set next to the rocking chair. Yet here, as on every successive album through 2017’s similarly raucous Claw Machine Wizard, Left Lane Cruiser’s sound came across big enough to fill a stadium.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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