Veteran musician Duke Garwood serves up some ‘Heavy Love’

Duke Garwood‘Heavy Love’
Duke Garwood (Heavenly)
3.5 stars out of 5

Duke Garwood has never become a household name, but the talented singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist wouldn’t have it any other way.

Duke Garwood CD“When I was young and pretty, I could have maybe become a star,” says Garwood, who figures to open some eyes with the release of fifth solo effort “Heavy Love.” “Luckily, I didn’t really have any inklin to, and I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I wanted to be able to really play music the way I wanted it to be played. And that probably saved my life.”

After decades in bands like Pushpanjali, Inchworm and the Archie Bronson Outfit, he’s spent the past 15 years or so exploring an experimental form of blues and it all comes together on the 10-track “Heavy Love.” Garwood and pal Mark Lanegan scored with 2012 release “Black Pudding” and he raises the bar even higher on this dark, mystical platter.

Mellow opener “Sometimes” sets the tone, and Garwood delivers the goods on the title track, “Disco Lights” (the best song of the bunch, buoyed by backing vocals from Petra Jean Phillipson), “Sweet Wine,” “Suppertime in Hell” and “Roses.” It’s been a long, strange journey for Garwood … and we are reaping the benefits. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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