Outlaw R&B by Night BeatsRelease date: April 7, 2021
Label: Fuzz Club Records
Another day, another Fuzz Club release, some might just sigh. Sure, but here’s the rub – it is yet another Fuzz Club release that really hits its mark!
We’re talking about Night Beats and their fifth album Outlaw R&B. Danny Lee Blackwell, the man behind Night Beats, does exactly what he says with the title of his latest album. He holds firm to his Texas roots (read/hear all things Roky Erickson), i’e. it’s psych version of folk/blues (‘Revolution’), and transplants it to the whole span of West Coast sound circa the late sixties, from San Francisco to L.A. (‘Never Look Back’).
And then he takes a few more runs along that route, both with knowledge and precisely the right feel, without sounding either trite or too bound to a specific sound. You get everything from crunching fuzz to spaghetti western sound (‘New Day’), to Jefferson Airplane-style freak-outs (‘Crypt’), with Blackwell injecting enough personality to make this music sound exactly his own.
Blackwell explains himself: “Outlaw R&B is music for the borderless, the free, the outcasts, and the forgotten. Through this medium, you escape the confines of mental feudalism and bask in the euphoric glow of psychedelic R&B. The outlaw is the runner. Those whose minds aren’t sold by perfect pitch and clean fingernails. Take heed as each color-coordinated minute of this record will induce temporary insanity.”
And it all comes in perspective listening to this album. Blackwell and his Outlaw R&B prove that psych can mutate but it never loses its original feel and intent. If you play it right, that is. And Night Beats certainly do.