CD Review – Citizens Band Radio “Big Blue Sky”
Countrified Rockin’ from Citizens Band Radio
Back in the 1970’s the airways were filled with the Country and Southern Rock sounds of bands like Poco, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, The Allman Bros, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Marshall Tucker, and of course the good old Grateful Dead. No longer mainstream, satellite radio stations still play these and similar acts, labeled “Americana” or “Outlaw Country.” One up and coming New Jersey band has picked up the torch and is running full speed with it. That band is Citizen Band Radio, and while their sound is familiar, the lyrics are new and fresh on their latest release, “Big Blue Sky.”
Released January 1st, 2013, all songs were written by Jayson Jannuzzi, except “Good in a Bad Man” (Linda King) & “Sugar Sweet Mama” (Michael Flynn & Jayson Jannuzzi) The CD was engineered & produced at Whiskey Lips Studio by Jake O’Handley, Michael Flynn & Jayson Jannuzzi. Mastered by Eric Rachel at Trax East in South River, NJ
The anthemic title track, “Big Blue Sky”, takes us on a rambling adventure through the wild west, and sets the tone for the whole album. Twangy telecaster and steel guitar interplay, driving beat, Jayson Jannuzzi’s swamp rock vocals, tight harmonies,… what more could we ask for? The free wandering life is the theme of “Hwy Toad.” Linda King adds a tasty mandolin line. (That’s why they call her “ Mando-linda”) The song concludes repeating the line, “I’m a Highway Toad, By the side of the road.”
King takes the lead vocal on her song, “Good In A Bad Man,” a driving, slide guitar flavored Southern Rocker. The band settles back into an acoustic Country sound with “Long Winding Road”, recounting the effects of a musician’s jouney through life. That restless spirit keeps coming through in the more upbeat “Gypsy.” Great music to drive the open road to; sprinkled with some very Dickie Betts-ish guitar work.
“Heart of Stone” is a bitter love song and Linda King’s husky vocal line treats it well. The Bluegrass tinged “Another Song” would have fit in Boxcar Willie’s repertoire just fine. The mandolin bounces through it, and there seems to be hint of banjo and some tasty acoustic guitar pickin’ in the mix. “Born To Win” conjures up images of a beautiful biker babe, making tracks across the country with the wind in her hair.
King gives nothing away to the queens of Country Rocks, Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, as she belts out “Drinkin Again”, and it could easily be Harris’ Hot Band behind her. Jannuzzi gets down and dirty as he rides us out on “Sugar Sweet Mama.” And with that, Citizen Band is 10-7, (trucker lingo for “Off the air, standing by.) Check their website www.WORLDOFCBR.COM for tour dates and to buy this fun CD. The band promises a follow-up release sometime in the fall.
jay jannuzzi – vocals / bass
linda king – vocals / mandolin
mike flynn – guitars / lap steel / pedal steel / banjo
troy bleck – telecaster guitar
dale eddington drums