The Advice Sisters have enjoyed hearing the Scott Weis Band in person a number of times. We know Scott personally and are fortunate to call him a friend.
Scott is more than just any old blues guitarist, he’s a 2012 Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee and his guitar and soulful sound give his rock tinted blues a really special quality.
The Scott Weis band’s last Album (Almost There-read our review ) took us on a tour on a blues-y tour from Chicago down to the Delta. His latest album, The Other Side, takes the listener on a more personal journey.
The Other Side:
The Other Side, provides a unique emotional and spiritual journey that anybody who has ever experienced trauma, be it the loss of a loved one, a job or a home, addiction, divorce or even battle, has felt. The tracks begin with those of sorrow and despair.
However, song by song Scott Weis takes us through to the other side where there’s a feeling of rebirth and hopefulness. Listeners can really feel the transition in this album very personally from trauma, fear, and sadness back to hope and joy.
Scott wrote all of the songs on the album, and the majority were engineered and mixed by Scott and Don Sternecker who has worked with hundreds of artists including Mick Jagger, Peter Gabriel, and Marianne Faithful.
Scott is joined by a number of excellent musicians including Bashiri Johnson, one of the most recorded percussionists in the music business, who has performed with artists ranging from Sting to Michael Jackson to Aretha Franklin and Steve Winwood.
Also on the album is mandolin player Andy Goessling who has played with Allman Brothers guitarist, Warren Haynes, and Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir.
The collection of songs begins at the pit of despair with the song Can You Feel It, a bluegrassy ballad centered on the powerful lyric this is my goodbye. It’s followed by Angel, another slow sorrowful track harkening back to a time of happiness, now gone. I can’t tell if this is an angel from beyond or an earthbound angel picking up our singer from the bottom of the pit.
From here the songs start to move slowly but surely out of the darkness and into the light. In fact, the album cover pointedly shows the musician surrounded by trees, bathed in light.
The third track Lazy, really shows off Bashiri Johnson’s percussion, while Back To You begins the journey to the other side, with three classic Scott Weis soulful ballads (Back to You, High and Fall in Love). Fall in Love, in particular, is a lovely duet with Scott and Jenn Kersendahl.
Now hope is beginning to be infused with love.
By the ninth track on the album, we’re well on the journey “to the other side” with the song Amazing. This song has the opposite feeling to the first rack Can you Feel It with a pop-like (almost Partridge Family “Come on Get Happy“) vibe.
Now Scott takes us well into the light with Shine, another 1970’s style “pop” song that brings one back to the positive feel of hundreds of kids on a hill singing about giving the world a Coke.
Scott Weis is a complex musician, so he adds song #10 Better Part as an introspective look at to how we got down to the low point we were at when the album started. Jill Stevenson’s backing vocals in this song were particularly lovely with a kind of Bangles Hazy Shade of Winter feel.
The album ends with Good Things Gonna Come. In this musical journey, we’re out of the gloom and have an upbeat, positive attitude. The song itself is very bluesy (few blues songs are happy) but this one has positive lyrics. Rather than discussing the end of the world, Scott sings that: something good will shure nuff going to come.
Like many people, Scott Weis has gone through more than one hurdle, obstacle, and lots of highs and lows in life. The Other Side chronicles these life moments from valley to mountain. This makes The Other Side a personal journey for every listener. Scott is just the kind of songwriter that can bring this spiritual personal feeling to both his lyrics and the way that he presents them.
This report by John Dunham and Alison Blackman