Monday, November 24, 2014 Review

Less-Is-More With Thirty Dollar Stella ~ By Gary Schwind @ 9/11/2014

"Recently, Gene Simmons declared that rock is dead. That is a debate that could rage on for hours, but basically Simmons is declaring that he knows all the rock bands out there and that none of them are as good as KISS. It is pretty presumptuous - not to mention self-aggrandizing - to say something like that, but even more than that is that you can't really declare any genre (except maybe disco) dead because there are always bands in all genres worth discovering. The onus is on the music fan to go out and discover those bands, which is easy enough to do considering outlets like ReverbNation, Bandcamp, etc. Really all you have to do is search one of your favorite genres on one of those sites, and you're bound to find something you like."

"One of those bands that's worth discovering is Thirty Dollar Stella, a band currently at #22 on the Los Angeles country chart on ReverbNation. This band certainly falls into the country category. However, this isn't cowboy-hat country. The country aspect of this comes from the heavy blues influence of this band as well as some alt-country sounds. The first song on the ReverbNation player is a cover of the country/blues classic "Mystery Train" This is a great version of a train song - and let's face it; there's never a bad time for a train song. This band shows it can straddle the line between alt-country and blues. A good example of this is the band's cover of "Six Days on the Road". The band takes this song and puts some good twang into it. It's very different than Taj Mahal's version of the song, but it's really good."

"If you want to hear more of the blues sounds of this band, check out the song "What the Cowgirls Do". This is a slow-burning, lowdown blues song that features some awesome slide guitar. This is a great song for slow dancing with someone in a dark juke joint. And if you like slide guitar, check out the song "Wanna Rock and Roll". This may not be front-porch blues, but it's honest-to-goodness, lowdown blues - and it even includes some lyrics from the blues standard "John the Revelator". When you check out the band's Blogspot page, you'll see that the band strives for a less-is-more approach. It's safe to say that the guys follow through on it. There are not a whole lot of bells and whistles in the songs, just a lot of great licks and real simple, straightforward vocals. Thirty Dollar Stella is currently working on a CD, which will include the first five songs on the ReverbNation player as well as some other songs. Be sure to get a copy when it's available."