One of Buffalo’s best-kept secrets (not for long) is the raucous good-time band The Heavenly Chillbillies. They’ve expanded to a quartet since this recording and certainly their heart lies in live performances, but this freshman release provides a guide to what is in store for you when you see them live. From their tag-line “Booze Infused Blues and Americana” to the song titles, including “I Don’t Need Drugs To Have A Good Time (I Need Drugs To Have A Good Time With You” and “My Sister’s So Mean (She Drinks Gasoline)” it’s obvious these boys are not only out for a good time, they’re about to show you one too.
The opener, “Long Time Coming”, has a funky-cool swing reminiscent of The James Gang and features the multiple vocalist capability of the band. Gabrial Mayer, guitars/vocals takes the lead here and on track two, “I Don’t Need Drugs To Have A Good Time (I Need Drugs To Have A Good Time With You). A straight up rocker that laments with tongue firmly in cheek, kick ass! Earl Irving, bass/vocals takes over the lead vocals with his distinct growl. Mike Olczak, drums/vocals drives the whole thing, steady and strong at the kit, his voice blends and highlights both Gabe and Earl’s. “Tell Me Mama” is a gritty, in your face plea for acceptance and communication with the fairer sex that leads to the rave-up, “Tired Of You”, makes perfect sense in sequence! “Buffalo Blues” starts with Gabe rhythm channeling his inner SRV on this tribute to their hometown and it’s own trappings. Funky as hell with a killer vibe, a must see live! If the pulsating rhythm section at the start of “Mike’s Song (Shine)” doesn’t make you move, nothing will, and the groove just drives the song under Gabe’s vocal. Yet another example of THC’s broad style base, they ain’t scared to grab you by the neck AND the heart! The seemingly endless groove continues on “My Sister’s So Mean (She Drinks Gasoline). THC makes it sound so easy, they funk, rock and kick the jams seamlessly, flipping a switch to rave it up on “Shotgun Revival”. While the disc is dynamic, it seems like a natural course for The Chillbillies to do a live album. ‘Cause this shit is hot! Play it loud!!
The bonus track, “Blues Is My Business (And Business Is Good) just kills combing all of the elements I’ve previously mentioned. Earl and Mike groove under Gabe’s smooth solos and the three part vocals run deep and rich. They aren’t afraid of anything, stretching and breaking genre boundaries on every track.