LA Smith - Percussion / Martin Cage - Guitar / Max Soler - Vocals / Guitar - Danny Carroll - Drums / Will Reeves - Bass / Michael Kott - Cello / Jimmy Pollard - Drums / Jerry Russo - Drums
Putting this review together I had to reflect on that age-old question, that moldy chestnut that always ignites controversy and exposes prejudices - " What is the Blues”? So-called " purists " and more open-minded modernists continue to fuel controversy with opinions and attacks on both the music and the musicians that create an art form so reflective of the soul of America. If the blues is the heartbeat of American music - beating with the soulful syncopation of all people - then no chains of conformity can bind it, hold it, strangle it. The blues is borderless, colorblind, timeless, representing ALL people, a festive dance of emotions, struggles, triumphs, and setbacks. The blues is all about creative optimism.
"Rare Union " is uniquely unapologetic. Their music is reflective of ideas, attitudes, and circumstances brought together amidst a surging and unprecedented pandemic. Lead vocalist - guitarist Max Saler, guitarist Martin Cage and percussionist L A Smith are the movers and groovers who lead this crew of musical outlaws. Mixing bluesy guitars, soulful and, at times, ferocious vocals, conga and percussion-fueled rock, " Rare Union " delves deeply into the musical landscape, unafraid to take unexpected twists and turns. At one point you may get a breezy hint of the tropics; straight-up rockers and country tease your ears; cellist Michael Kott blends orchestral maneuvers with a groove-driven blues beat; spirited harmonies are melodic and catchy; and the song-writing is first-rate, provocative and even tender at times. Can this be the blues?
"Rare Union " makes music that is rebellious in nature, unafraid to take chances, spirited and truthful. Five artists, from 5 states, playing together, driven just to make good music. This is a band with extraordinary chemistry - Max adding lyrics and guitar; Martin and Max switching off on lead and rhythm; L A and Danny building up the structure of the songs, deciding how to incorporate drums and percussion; and Michael Kott, cellist from Santa Fe, New Mexico, has been added into the mix. Drummers Danny Carroll, Jimmy Pollard and Jimmy Russo are essential pieces of this " Rare Union ".
If the blues is about resurrection and rebirth then " Rare Union " can lead you to the " Promised Land ". "Rare Union" is a celebration and everyone is invited to join the party.