Album Review of
Blues for the Beach

Written by Robert Silverstein
April 29, 2020 - 11:49pm EDT
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Long Island’s great blues-rock band, MOTU delivers another winner with their new long player called Blues For The Beach. Featuring the same band that played on the 2019 MOTU album, Suitcase Full Of Sorrow And Another Filled With Dreams, the 2020 Blues For The Beach album features Dr. Richard Michelson (a/k/a MOTU on electric guitars, pedal steel, slide and wah-wah guitars, vocals and mandolin) backed up by a stellar sounding group of musicians including Dee Michelson (vocals), Bob Rush (piano, harmonica), Mark Loebl (bass), Ed Modzel (drums), topped off the electric lead guitar work of Rich Fry. Listening to these two latest MOTU albums makes for a very contrasting moment in that the Suitcase album was somewhat more rock and country / pop driven while Blues For The Beach is more rootsy and bluesy, and even features a rock style instrumental track called “Variations In 1, 4, 5” - a track that features a beautiful, late 1960s Arlo Guthrie / Pete Seeger type guitar-driven melody, balanced out by some searing electric, acoustic and pedal steel guitar work performed by MOTU himself. Regarding its diversity of blues, rock and country sounds, Blues For The Beach is just as authentic and convincing as Suitcase Full Of Sorrow And Another Filled With Dreams and, likewise the new album is equally well recorded. As you listen, you can just feel that these musicians enjoy playing and recording with each other. Among the many song highlights, “No Safe Solution” sounds like vintage Canned Heat, with blistering guitar work from by MOTU and Rich Fry. On that same track, with MOTU and Dee sharing the vocals, the band really shines. With the Long Island Sound captured on the cover art and in the grooves of these tracks, MOTU gets back to its blues-rock roots in style on Blues For The Beach.