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Tug Of War – Soulfire Award winner

Tug Of War
by Cullen Baldridge at 15 May 2019, 1:43 PM

TUG OF WAR comes straight out of the 70's, bringing a blues rock sound into 2019 with them, with a not-so-new singer but new to the public eye, BK Morrison. I would compare him to Miles Kennedy and Noah Hunt. Tommy stumbled upon BK in some YouTube videos and hit him up to do something with him, and BK said yes. Tommy wrote the album and had BK lay down the tracks then Tommy ran it byKhalil Turk, his boss at Escape Music, and he liked it, so they proceeded with it. They didn't want it to be a solo release so they added the rest of the band members and came up with the name, Tug Of War.

"Before I Will Know" starts of with lively keyboard work handled by Tommy Demander before long it was blended in by an astonishing voice possessed by one, BK Morrison, someone that I had personally never heard before, escalating into a Blues Brothers 2019 vibe. The bass is thumping and grooving, with guitar strumming throughout, and over the top drumming, all mingled together in perfect harmony. "Bullet With Your Name", with guitar coming out loud and proud is fired up, eventually lowering its loudness into supporting the vocals accordingly. BK is digging deep and belting out vocals throughout, taking a break for some purring guitar work at it's best, breaking away to let George Hawkins Jr show his skills and with Billy Orrico's drumming supporting it all. "Come Home"pulls the reins back somewhat, breaking into a GREAT WHITE type of song ("House Of Broken Love") definitely comes to mind), a few taps on the bass strings gives way to bluesy guitar riffs and easy untroubled vocals, took me back to my 1st concert, Knight Ranger and Great White, over 30 years ago and all the excitement of being at your 1st show. The slowest song so far, "Confess To Your Demons", ismodern day blues at it's finest; Tommy starts off with a breathtaking riffwith George adding some funky bass lines, premonitions of a Kenny Wayne Shepherd song. I’m just simply in amazement of the musicianship and tight flow of the bluesy energy exhibited here.

"Fade To Black" is another fast paced song filled with semi heavy riffs and banging drums. It gets your adrenaline pumping with mean bass lines intruding from behind it all and is my favorite song so far. "I Won't Surrender" is energetic with the guitar falling back behind soul taking vocals and excellent drumming. George's bass skills astonish me further with each song. "Have Mercy" is like going to church; repenting your sins, asking for forgiveness, and asking for a lighter load to carry out your journey in life. On the track, "My Soul Is A Ghost Town",I guess you could say it's a dark love song; a woman leaving with nothing but emptiness on the inside, which is exactly what a blues song is supposed to be about.

"On The Other Side" is a song about betrayal by somebody you consider a brother, breaking your heart in disbelief and admitting that he has been there; it's definitely no place to be and knowing that it isn't worth the friendship you gave up to get there. "Somewhere In The Past" is all about being lost in a relationship that isn't working out and trying to figure out how to get back to the way it once was before it's to late, if it isn't already. "Walk It Like A Man" is a testament but realizing you’re running on empty and there is no one to help, so you’ve got to get it together because there isn't anyone to blame but yourself and you’ve got to dig yourself out of the hole you’re in, praying for a little help. "Full Of Shit" is pure Honky Tonk Blues; exploring both sides of why he should leave and why she want him to leave, and realizing that they're just driving each other crazy.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 7
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Before I Will Know
2. Bullet With Your Name
3. Come Home
4. Confess To Your Demons
5. Fade To Black
6. I Won't Surrender
7. Have Mercy
8. My Soul Is A Ghost Town
9. On The Other Side
10. Somewhere In The Past
11. Walk It Like A Man
12. Full Of Shit
BK Morrison - Vocals
Tommy Denander - Guitar, Keyboard
Billy Orrico - Drums
George Hawkins Jr - Bass
Record Label: Escape Music


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