The continuing tale of the Doley Brothers! If you are keeping score. . . Lachy Doley had sent WOAS an email out of the blue in the spring of 2015 asking if we would be interested in previewing the new single off his new CD Conviction. Naturally, I said yes and we engaged in some email dialog as needed to flesh out an FTV segment about our new Australian musical buddy (Ontonagon Herald 6-3-15). During the YouTube research phase of the Lachy Doley article, I also discovered that Lachy has a brother named Clayton who also happens to be a keyboard player with a new CD. In a strange twist of fate, a contact from Clayton’s label put a copy of his new CD in our mailbox before we received Lachy’s new CD so that one has already been reviewed in this space (FTV: Bayou Billabong – Ontonagon Herald 7-29-15). If you are still with me, it is probably too late to make a long story short so I will summarize all this by saying, ‘it is time to even the score and review Conviction so I won’t be accused of playing favorites’.
Betcha I’ll Getcha – A jump blues number with great horn backing. Lachy turns up his soulful vocal growl. The bass playing of Jan Bangma and drumming of Byron Goodwin (who shared drum duties on half the tracks on this CD with Adam Church covering the other tracks) lay a solid foundation for Lachy’s tunes. As evidenced by the live versions of some of the Lachy Doley Group tunes I have heard online, I wouldn’t expect anything less of them in the studio.
Conviction – A slower track with equally soul powered vocals that drip with emotion. The backing vocals by Mahallia Barnes, Juanita Tippens,and Rebekah Jensen add a great Motown touch to this arrangement. Lachy is as gifted a songwriter as he is a keys player and singer.
Make It Up – An uptempo rocker with a great organ solo. Bangma’s bass pulses and pushes the song this time with Church adding the solid drum track.
Back in Black (A.Young, B.Johnson, M.Young) is the first of three cover songs on Conviction. One might wonder how on earth a guitar driven AD/DC song could be arranged for keyboards, but the gritty Hammond sound does the trick. You won’t confuse Lachy’s vocal style with AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, but his tone here is just as gritty as the organ sound and it is a great cover. I have no problem with bands doing covers. Vanilla Fudge made a name for themselves doing organ and drum heavy covers of popular music from Motown to the Beatles, so it can be done. Like the Fudge, Doley’s covers are imaginative arrangements that stay true to the song without being out and out retreads.
Frankly My Dear I Don’t Give A Damn – Lachy breaks out his funky clavinet playing and a syncopated vocal that mixes well with Goodwin’s drumming. Rhett Butler could only wish to have had this much funk built into his most famous line from Gone With The Wind. More stellar background vocals and the Hammond – Leslie sound also add a lot to this arrangement.
Downtown Smalltown – Another uptempo number that name drops Jerry Lee Lewis and Brooker T. Jones in the first verse. I am not sure that this was penned as an ode to the Stax sound, but Brooker T. would not have turned down a chance to record a song with such a catchy organ hook.
Too Late – Horns, organ, soul. My old bandmate Jerry Monk would have called this a classic ‘belly rubber’ as he called any great slow dance song. Not to repeat myself, but the blending of horns, organ, vocals and background vocals make this a song with a strong Motown foundation.
Use Me (B.Withers) – The second cover presented here slows down this Bill Wither’s tune and punctuates it with Lachy’s signature Horner (Castlebar Whammy) Clavinet work. There are a lot of covers of Use Me that have been recorded in the last 40 years and this is the first one that I have heard that takes the song in a different direction. After watching some of Lachy’s work on YouTube, I can see him hunched over the Whammy Clav sweating up a storm on the solo and the expressive vocals.
There may be other funky versions of Use Me out there, but I really like this one.
Lucille (A.Collins) – While I have long associated this song with Little Richard, I was a little surprised to find it was penned by guitar great Albert Collins. Lachy’s keys and vocals are true to the Little Richard style and Bangma and Church add great punch to this short (1:58) but sassy version of the song.
Stop Listening to the Blues – Slow, organ blues that says one thing in the title but will make you do anything but stop listening. A nice organ tone and arrangement to end with.
Now that I have discussed the most recent offerings by both Lachy and Clayton Doley, I am going to start mining their earlier works. Music this good doesn’t just spring out of the ground fully formed and it will be fun to go back and track how they got to where they are today. As usual, we will be pumping the Doley brother’s music in the weeks that follow. The previous articles mentioned are also available at www.woas-fm.org .