CD review – Brian Lee and the Orbiters- Identity Theft
Fans of straight ahead blues will be quite pleased with Identity theft, the new release from Brian Lee and The Orbiters. This fine collection of eleven new tunes penned by Lee are easy on the ears and filled with sweet musical moments. Silky smooth vocals, fine guitar and harmonica playing have long been the hall mark of Lee’s live shows and are presented here with perfection. The Orbiters were formed in 1999 and have been a consistent draw around the Seattle area ever since. Lee draws upon the talent of two other guitar players, Steve Yonck and Tim Sherman and two drummers Conrad Ormsby and Russ Kammerer, but his right hand man is Hank Yanda whose bass playing holds it all together.
Standout tracks are swinging opener “Fine Line” featuring fiery harp from Lee and blazing guitar from Sherman. On “So Lucky,” Lee surprises us with by adding the Vibes to his bag of tricks and lifts this medium shuffle to something sublime. The playful “I Smell a Rat,” allows Lee to rip out some molten slide guitar, and the low down blues of “On the Ropes,” shows just how smooth Lee’s vocals can be. The rumba flavored instrumental “Fourth and Miles,” will no doubt be a favorite of the dance floor. “Blast Off,” closes out the album and shows just what The Orbiters do best, giving us some swinging blues with tradeoff solo’s and a call to “go out on the town, have some fun, and lay our burdens down,” isn’t that what the blues is all about.