Gizzards & Livers
Stalwarts of the Triangle NC rock & roll scene, Joe Bell and the Stinging Blades have been raising spirits and shaking hips of audiences since 1989. Only their second CD since their first release in 1995, Gizzards and Livers captures the essence of the current Blades. All of the basic tracks and most of the vocals and solos were recorded live in the studio in order to capture the energy and the incredibly tight, yet loose groove of the Blades. On the CD the boys have taken the rootsy mixture of Memphis Soul, New Orleans R&B, Blues, and Rock & Roll that pervades their live performances and cooked 'em down into 12 original songs with their own distinctive sonic gumbo. Joe Bell's powerful, expressive, and heartfelt vocals and harmonica playing lead the way, with Bill McCarthy and Dick MacPhail supplying well choreographed guitar parts and some mighty pithy solos, all anchored by the solid, funky, and supple rhythm section of Ed Mezynski and Tracy Weibeck on drums and bass. The Blades are joined on several songs by two special guests, teen prodigy Joe MacPhail on keys and breathy diva Shannon Dancy on vocals. Joe Bell takes songwriting credits on eleven of the songs, eight of them co-written by Dick MacPhail, with Bell penning inventive and fitting lyrics to MacPhail's funky guitar riffs and musical arrangements. Tracy Wiebeck contributes his classic "Elvis at the Bus Stop," where he takes the lead vocal over a catchy Allman-esque slide guitar driven treatment by the Blades. The tunes span a broad range while still retaining a unique Blades feel, from their ode to Chapel Hill's iconic nightclub "The Lowdown Cave," with it's driving southern fried surf riff, to the acoustic flavored "Modus Operandi" and it's plaintive call and response, to the not-so-subtly political, jazz funk R&B feel of "Tastes Like Chicken", to the uplifting strains of Bell's "Beach Song" and "Every Chance You Can" and the visceral, carnal lyrics and rhythms of "But It Wasn't Love" and "Wiggle." So come on in, order up some Gizzards and Livers, and let the Stinging Blades slice you a piece of musical pleasure -.