UPDATED JUNE 28 2016
|The Bloody Nerve’s Stacey Blood, left, and Laurie Ann Layne
What a bloody terrible year 2014 was for the Nashville-based blues-rock duo, The Bloody Nerve. The home of guitarist Stacey Blood and singer Laurie Ann Lyne, their possessions and the Nerve’s carefully-constructed recording studio were all totally destroyed by fire. And though the pair escaped with their lives, Laurie Ann’s beloved father also passed away that year … just to rub it in.
So, now for that cliché you often read when something good emerges from something dreadful. Here it comes: The Bloody Nerve have risen, like the proverbial Phoenix, from the ashes of their home and burnt-down studio. In this case, though, it’s not simply an overblown flowery phrase. It’s a description of what happened in the true sense of the ancient metaphor.
The result of The Bloody Nerve’s fiery setback is a smouldering new debut album, “Taste”. Whether its title is a nod to the late Rory Gallagher’s seminal Irish blues-rock trio, Taste, of the early 1970s, I don’t know. Maybe Stacey Blood’s musician dad, Bobby, also the Nerve’s bassist and trumpeter, told Stacey all about Taste when he was growing up.
|Anyone remember this Taste? Rory Gallagher is on the right
If you don’t know of Taste, they formed in 1969, as did Led Zeppelin, to fill the massive gap in the blues-rock market left by the breakup of that sublime hard rock trio, Cream. And if memory serves me well, I remember Taste getting bigger headlines than Led Zeppelin at the time – huge front-page banner headlines – in the British rock press. Taste were that BIG in those far-off days, even if they do seem forgotten now. So if Bobby did educate young Stacey Blood about Taste, nice one.
Actually, since we’re talking rock history, Bobby Blood and I have something in common: that great Native-American band, Redbone. As a session player in LA, Bobby played horns for Redbone on ‘But It’s Alright’ and I helped promote Redbone’s single ‘Witch Queen of New Orleans’ which reached number two in the UK way back in 1971. I saw the Bone in November that year at the Royal Albert Hall in London, supporting Jethro Tull. (I was there for the rock of Redbone, as a matter of record, rather than the flute of Tull.)
But back to songs more recent. Father Bobby plays bass guitar on The Bloody Nerve’s Taste, son Stacey shares lead vocals with Laurie Ann, and Stacey’s blues-powered lead guitar truly embraces the spirit of Rory Gallagher. Peter Wolf is great on drums as is Terry Bayless on piano and organ. As you’d expect from a record (yes, record: it’s also available on vinyl, as well as digital) that’s risen from the ashes, Taste is smoking hot and will please The Bloody Nerve’s many fans. (I know the Nerve have a huge following because, for a while, my original post on the band remained my second most visited post for over a year.) Recorded at Laurie Ann Layne and Stacey Blood’s new Overbear Studios in Ashland City, on Nashville’s outskirts, and Wolfsound studios in Fresno, California, Taste is available in the USA and UK on Antic Records. Tracks have already
been played on the UK’s award-winning radio show, Blues and Roots with Dave Watkins.
|The Bloody Nerve. Saw red after the fire
Like The Bloody Nerve’s two earlier EPs from 2013, Red and Blue, the new LP Taste is produced, engineered and mixed to exacting standard by Stacey Blood. Ten songs strong, as Nerve fans would expect, the album is full of rip-your-balls-off blues rock. There are some gentler moments, though. Stacey’s soulful blues ballad, “Changin’ Mind”, has been completely redone with some exquisite electric guitar. Laurie Ann, too, puts her powerful vocals into ballad mode on “Find Your Love”, a poignant rendering featuring, not once but twice, on the soundtrack of France’s prime time TV drama, ‘Interventions’.
After the unwelcome intervention of 2014’s fire, Bloody Nerve songs being played French TV perhaps offer the band glimpses of that silver lining every cloud is supposed to have. After all, France is a big market with a long blues history.
Let’s hope 2015 isn’t quite so bloody as last year for Nashville’s Bloody Nerve and the only Interventions seen from now on are on French television. Link below for more about The Bloody Nerve.
“Great stuff – Riveting Read – Well done Paul (once again).” Carlos Wilde (@carlos_wilde) Spain, Feb 16 2015.
“@thebloodynerve Enjoyed reading about you via our talented friend @paulgmerry” Carlos Wilde (@carlos_wilde) Feb 16 2015.
“@carlos_wilde Thx! Paul knows his music for sure.” @thebloodynerve USA Feb 16 2015.
“@thebloodynerve I just love the way he (Paul) approaches stuff – different angles with a great end result.” Carlos Wilde @carlos_wilde Feb 16 2015.
“carlos_wilde #sotrue @thebloodynerve Feb 16 2015.