Joe Grushecky’s recommendation: “My favorite CD of the past couple of years is Horsefly by a journeyman singer/songwriter/guitarist named Pat McLaughlin. I saw Pat play at Douglas Corners in Nashville and was blown away by his band and songs. The CD has everything I look for: great playing, impeccable grooves, intelligent meaningful lyrics, and passionate soulful singing. I think it really speaks to an audience that has a few miles on them (like me!). I have listened to this album endlessly.
Also, I have recently discovered Eli “Paperboy” Reed and his Come And Get It CD. I grew up listening to a lot of soul music, both mainstream and obscure stuff. Eli has an authentic sound. It is timeless, modern, and retro all at the same time. I like the horns and really admire his singing. My son discovered it in my car CD player. “Hey Dad, listen to this!” Listen indeed.”
About our guest author, Joe Grushecky: Joe has been making straight forward, righteous rock records since 1979. His first record with the Iron City Houserockers caught the attention of Rolling Stone’s Greil Marcus as he wrote, “…their debut album is strong, passionate and a little desperate…I hope they’re around for a long, long time.” The praise continued into the early ’80s as Joe and the band released three more albums, including Have a Good Time But Get Out Alive which was slugged by Rolling Stone as “a new American classic.” Joe split with his first band and took a position as a special education teacher in Pittsburgh (where he still lives and teaches today), but the rocker was far from finished. He formed a new group, The Houserockers, put out three more three more gutsy, earnest records and in 1995, Joe released American Babylon, a collection produced by fellow working class hero, Bruce Springsteen, whom Joe had met through Steve Van Zandt. Bruce co-wrote two of the songs for the album and even toured with Joe and the band. That marked the first of several collaborations between Joe and Bruce (the most recent being a November, 2011 two-night stand in Pittsburgh, review here) including the pair co-writing Code of Silence which has become a staple in Bruce’s live show. Joe has a new live CD out called We’re Not Dead Yet and you can catch his full-throttle performances by checking his tour page.
* Related: Joe Talks Working With Springsteen – and Teaching High School in Rolling Stone