High Caliber Musicianship & Well-Crafted Songs to Make Your Ears Dance

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, Artist Feature,   From Issue 891   By: Matt deHeus

30th January, 2020     0

With a new lineup debuted at last year’s Review Music Awards  and a new album released to finish 2019, ADABOY! is back.

The full band vehicle for the original works of singer / songwriter Michael Richards now consists of bassist Joe Balbaugh, drummer Steve Bennett and guitarist Jake Voisine.  All three new members also contribute vocals.  The quartet has been gigging around the state in support of the new release, which is starting to find airplay on independent radio, podcasts and playlists.

While the lineup is new, the concept is unchanged.  High caliber musicianship delivering well-crafted songs that span the range of album-oriented rock styles.   Their self-titled release offers up a great cross-section of tracks that highlight the group’s individual strengths.

The album opens with Revival, a modern rock track that might even be termed danceable.  Balbaugh and Bennett put down a bass & drum groove that certainly gives anyone with moves like Jagger enough to work with to give it a rip, if so inclined.

Little Pearl offers an immediate left turn, as this slow rocker lives somewhere between the best of Bad Company and U2’s early career anthems.  This is the first big hint on the album of the power that Richards brings as a vocalist.

Next up is My War, which is a classic confessional over a slow jam that smolders with the intensity necessary for true self-examination.  Internal battles are among the toughest ones.

Call Me Love is a classic love song and a cry of concern for love that may go unrequited.  Richards heartfelt vocals are supported sweet harmonies as the song reaches its choruses.  At risk of a trendy comparison, I could hear some Dawes in this track.

Tide is driven by acoustic rhythm and Voisine’s country-tinged lead part which highlight a Petty cum CSN&Y story song.  Making a six string sound like a steel guitar is a cool skill and it is used to good effect in this song.

Red Burns Bright is an interesting hybrid of styles that melds together such staples as classic R&B changes, with an instrumental arrangement that at times echoes the styles of airy, syncopated 80’s rock like the Police and the big power rock ballads of the same era.  It’s a mix that works.

Bones is one the highlight tracks of the disc, built on a huge, yearning Richards vocal and a hypnotic contrapuntal bass line.  It’s a dramatic piece and one that is certain to garner a lot of attention from listeners of the album.

The next tune, Paradise & Hell again finds the band exercising their classic rock jones.  This is the kind of tune we drove around listening to on repeat when I was a teenager in the late 70s and early 80s.  Nice job in capture the essence of what made these songs sounds so cool to us.

Album closer Tonight! Is a perfect summation for this set, as it pulls together many of the best aspects of previous tracks.  Dramatic stops and starts, jangling cleanly executed guitar parts, big harmonies.  It’s another song that would fit well in many radio rotations.

The guys have to be proud of this set and hopeful about the opportunities to present this material live in 2020.  If you run into them, remember to give them an ADABOY!

You can follow ADABOY! on Facebook and learn more about the band, their schedule and where to download the music at   



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