Lots of musicians are getting on the “release-an-album-one-single-at-a-time” bandwagon, which does do something to prolong the novelty of an artist’s new record. That’s what Adam Dalton & the B-Sides started doing last month with the release of Eye on the Prize (Parts 1 & 2), a follow-up to Dalton’s 2009 solo debut, Self-Loathing Blues.
Self-Loathing Blues spanned the gamut of genres from soul to country, putting the Massachusetts native right at home in Nashville. Dalton says that unlike his first, the record that begins with Eye on the Prize (Parts 1 & 2) will be much more cohesive, although he says the next single will be a mix of Americana and soul. Whatever the entire project will turn out to be, this first taste is an emotive, palpable and limber blues jam alive with Hammond organ (courtesy of Kazuri Arai) and written about hard times and looking ahead.
“Just keep an eye on the prize and on the road ahead / Keep an eye on the prize and on the road ahead / Don’t wait to be reborn and find yourself dead.”
As Dalton puts it, the two-part record is a “blues romp,” which is true for the latter half of the song when the rhythm and tempo pick up and gang vocals echo back Dalton’s admonitions and advice. Depending on which way you lean when it comes to blues, you may prefer that or the slower, heavier blues drag of the first half. Part one and two start over again after the first play, bringing the record to just over 13 minutes of Southern-infused blues that changes moods from up to down.
Eye on the Prize was recorded live to 2-inch tape at Nashville’s Fry Pharmacy Recording. The next single is expected for release this spring.