Stone River Boys 'Love On The Dial' Cow Island

The tragic death of Dave Gonzalez's Hacienda Brothers partner Chris Gaffney left him with options. Options which he has decided to persue with his new band Stone River Boys which, to a degree, pick up from where the Hacienda's left off with further explorations of the country/soul music that they had at their core. This time out Gonzalez has teamed up with former Hollisters singer Mike Barfield, who has a strong soulful voice well able to bring the depth of soul and the heart of country music to the mix. He also brought a bunch of songs that he'd written solo or with others to the table. Dave Gonzalez is a reknowned guitar player, singer and songwriter himself and this makes them a perfect frontman combination. But in the engine room there are players like Kevin Smith and Hank Mainger on bass, Justin Jones and Damien Llanes on Drums as well as having the textures of Dave Biller's sensitive steel guitar to top it all. Gonzalez has done a excellent job on the peoduction, a meaty one that keeps all the elements balanced. One strong package. The songs rum from Biller's instrumental Steel City to the soul covers Can I Change Your Mind and the Goffin/ King song Take A Giant Step. The original are right up there with the steel led Lover's Prison right next to the sad ballad 40 Acres which has some nice steel and baritone guitar interplay. The title track is the band at it's most soulful with Hammond organ swirls around the compelling vocals. Fans of the Hacienda Brothers will love this. It's not that band with Barfield replacing Chris Gaffney, but rather a somewhat different take on that timeless soul country theme. It the sort of album that grows with listening and is an album in the best sense of a complementary set of songs creating a greater whole. Tune in.