Note: These reviews first appeared in the Around Hears section of the Illinois Entertainer.
Growth Ltd.’s self-titled debut opens and closes with middle-of-the-road rock tunes that are highly polished but not particularly noteworthy. The CD catches fire in the middle though, with the high energy “Sending Her Love To No-One” and the Rolling Stones-oriented “Good-bye Champion.” The way Growth Ltd. successfully mixes twanging guitars, horns, and backup female vocalists on “It’s Alright” makes you wish these guys would always be so adventurous.
The authentically rendered Southern rock and blues on Safe Haven’s debut Sermon For No One is credited to 10 musicians, led by songwriter Patrick Lyons. There’s an appealing mix of fiddles, guitars, pedal steel, and harmonica across the nine tracks. The romantic “Colorado Moon” has a homespun feel, while the shuffling honkytonk of “Leave Me Where I Want To Be” evokes Mungo Jerry’s “In The Summertime.” Safe Haven also impresses with the traditional “Going To Germany” and cuts loose behind the spiritual imagery of “Eternal Farm.”