bands CD Review

CD REVIEW: The Modern Sounds

2:19 PMDollie DeVille

I have been wanting to do CD reviews for a long time and am finally getting around to it. Zack and I discussed doing a He Says/She Says CD review, and we think it will be perfect for my readers. You get the serious musician’s point of view from Zack (which the men will appreciate), and you get a light-hearted, fun, listener point of view from me (which the girls will like). Hopefully between the two you will get a really good sense of the CD. We spent a lot of time on this one (Zack more than me unfortunately), but we hope you like it. To kick it off, we chose this CD for our first review:

He Says,
“The best new band in America!” – Deke Dickerson

That statement about sums it up when talking about “Joel Paterson and The Modern Sounds.” This Chicago based trio features Joel Paterson (ex Jimmy Sutton’s Four Charms) on guitar and vocals, Beau Sample (ex Cave Catt Sammy) on bass and vocals, and Alex Hall on drums and vocals. Together this trio founded Ventrella Records in 2008. In 2009 they released their debut double album showcasing their wide range of musical talent. “Hold it Fellas” is side one of the album and features the band’s more rockin’ and blues repertoire. You need not look any farther than their take on the classic Hank Ballard tune “Don’t change your pretty ways” to hear what makes this band stand out. Joel’s lead vocal and guitar work combined with Alex and Beau’s solid rhythm and harmonizing truly make this track a joy to tap your feet to. Side two of the album is entitled “Stomp Stomp” and as you might guess from the name it is full of the swingin’ and jazzy side of The Modern Sounds. If their rockin’ side had you dancing all night at the juke joint then their swinging side will have you drinking martinis in an ol’ fashioned prohibition era speak-easy. The trio does a fantastic job with the Tiny Grimes penned “Stomp Stomp” which features Beau Sample showcasing his talents on lead vocals and also on a bass solo that shows why he’s one of the best upright bass players on the scene today. The band doesn’t just do covers though. Take a listen to the Joel Paterson arrangement “Handful of Strings” and see how good of composers they can also be. Individually each side is capable of being a great record, but combine the two sides and sounds and you have something really special. The whole album was recorded using no overdubs and a minimal amount of mics, which enables you to listen as if you were watching and hearing The Modern Sounds in a live club. They really are as good live as what you hear on the album. 4 out of 5. …Only because I know these guys are too good not to do even better!

She Says,
I let Zack write his review before me, that was my first mistake. What can I say now?

We first saw The Modern Sounds at Deke’s Guitar Geek Festival in 2009. We loved them immediately! We have been wanting their CD since then and we knew that Viva Las Vegas would be the perfect place to get it. Since The Modern Sounds were playing Viva they would also be doing a CD signing right after the show. We decided to buy the CD directly from them in order to get a signed copy and a photo with them. Out of all the CDs we bought that year, we listened to this one first. The CD was produced through The Modern Sounds own Ventrella Records out of Chicago, and Joel Paterson is also to credit for the design of the CD cover. It’s made to look like an old record, with side A and B. This is hands down the best CD design I have ever seen. You can tell a lot of time and thought went into the production of this CD. It definitely was not a quick throw together type of job. And it only gets better when you actually listen to the CDs. It is a two CD set, CD one is called “Hold it Fellas” and is dubbed as the rockin’ side, and CD two is called “Stomp Stomp” and is the swingin’ side. It’s impossible to decide which one is better, as I go back and forth between the two all the time. My favorite song on the album is Beau Sample’s version of Andre Williams’ “Bacon Fat”. This is an amazing song, one of my favorites, and Beau really does it justice. I also love the harmonizing done on “Don’t Change Your Pretty Ways”. Individually they are extremely talented musicians, but together they knock your socks off! They are different than anything out there right now, and different in a good way. This CD would be ideal for a swanky cocktail party, Chicago style! All you would need is this CD, extra dirty gin martinis with 3 olives, and some shag cocktail napkins. They even have the perfect cover song for the occasion, “Atomic Cocktail” done in a sexy swinging jazz way. I think this CD is a 5 out of 5. They get an extra star for being such sharp dressing cute boys!

"Stomp Stomp"

"Don't change your pretty ways"

Dollie at Viva with The Modern Sounds!

If you like this review, buy the CD here:

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  1. I loved them when I saw them in San Jose before Viva!


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