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Weston Horn and The Hush – Volume 1

By • Jul 23rd, 2017 • Category: CD Reviews

Review by Jennifer Reid Morris

On June 23, 2017 Weston Horn and The Hush released their debut album, Volume 1. Even the most particular of musical audiences can find no fault in this collection as it’s diverse enough to appeal to any genre lover.

If you are a fan of rock then the opening track “She Had It All” will be a prime introduction to the music. Although the number starts softly, it quickly rips into a hard hitting tune while displaying Weston Horn’s rugged vocal side. He is able to transition from the falsetto opener to a growling shout effortlessly. It tells of a girl who had his heart from the moment he looked in her eyes, and is accented with crashing cymbals and screeching guitar riffs. What sets it apart from todays rock is the addition of a 4-piece horn section. In this day and age, a rock and roll horn section is virtually non existent. It’s different, and it works, and unless you are a genuine appreciator of the art of music you won’t understand that the differences are what will keep you related. The Hush is understood.

The 8-piece band show their funky side in two tracks “Hush” and “Shake.” Driven by the brass they are powerful selections that are intensified with Steve Snyder’s dynamic bass. “Hush” revolves around a woman whose only concern is money and a man working tirelessly to meet that need. Finally, he has enough and exclaims “you’re helpless and selfish, and greedy and needy and baby I ain’t playin.” While “Shake” revolves around a woman totally unconcerned with men or money as she can have plenty of either at her choosing. She is there to enjoy the music and oblivious to the heartbreak she causes with every passing glance.  A testament of most men that both of these women have at one time or another existed in their lives.

Emotionally, there are 2 standouts on this album. The first is the ballad “Quicksand.” Horn is so dedicated to this project you emphatically hear the hurt in his delivery. Cataloging pain from the constant rejection by the only one you desire acceptance quickly allows you to loose your grip. The piano work is a magnificent accessory to the undertone of the song as well as the back up vocals serving as an echo to the hurt you’ve already discovered. Tim Hewitt and Daniel Jordan are vocally exceptional to the fulfillment of the song. This track is outstanding with quality primed for a movie soundtrack.

The second is “I Won’t Move.” Tender guitar strumming leads in the song as a soft organ flows it to the chorus. Drummer Mat Donaldson gradually begins the bridge with a steady build up to guitarist Barrett Lewis who quietly enters the section. Almost instantaneously the bridge explodes into a pool of emotions intensified with guitar riffs dancing along the last verse. It’s about being lost and fighting both the evil and the good in yourself. Stating “there’s a cold dark place where my heart used to go. They’ll sing amazing grace as they bury my soul.” Faith however, doesn’t waiver. Be patient. Be still. Listen. Soon, you will hear “I don’t know where you’re going, but I will follow you down. All I see is this moment, all I hear is this sound.” Lyrically, the most monumental. Musically, the most intricate.

Speaking of faith, Weston Horn has lots of it. In his music, in his band and in himself. “Just Can’t Stop” is a diary of his 8 year journey in music. The knock downs, the turn downs, the put downs didn’t keep him down. As the song says “I can take a hit, I can handle it, baby but I just can’t stop.” Set to an upbeat classic 50’s tempo, what better way to keep moving?

Offering some pop selections for preference are back to back tracks “Paperboat” and “I Need Your Lovin’.” Illustrating the “what if’s” and “why’s” in life, Paperboat is reminiscent of a mid 80’s Huey Lewis and The News tune. Cited as one of their biggest influences it is full of heavy horn work, tambourines and robust vocals. I Need Your Lovin’ is strikingly unique as the organ is the biggest contributor to the outcome. Describing a troubled relationship, it almost becomes spiritual with the help of the instrument.

Reaching deep into Southern roots come the tunes “Greyhound” and “One Thought.” With a more Southern rock vibe Greyhound centers around the sophistication of the piano and guitar work. Fingers must have been flying in the studio during production as both are intensely rapid in tempo and add an extra layer of individuality to the track. Both rock and country lovers will find satisfaction in this tune. One Thought takes a more classic approach and portrays a swing theme. Full of acoustic strumming, clean guitar picking, and most importantly the use of a stand up bass, it transports you instantly to the days of Elvis, BB King and Chuck Berry. A simpler time and place where music truly began and was good for the soul. Weston Horn and The Hush have screen shot that emotion and delivered it in this track.

And finally, the tune that encompasses it all, “Devil Woman.” Funk, soul, rock, and heavy on the blues. Fierce lyrics describing a callous woman whose debt to the devil has been paid and returns for more. Horn’s depiction of the woman is summed up in the line “she wants to win me, get with me, then give me away. She wants to start with a heart and end with remains.” She’s brutal, and his aloof reaction to her return is entangled with strong horn support and emphasized with harmonious back ups. Packed with soul, the song carries itself impressively with Horn who is in fact consumed with soul. A fan of many of the soulful classics, he drew from his influences and emerged with a tune that will remain timeless.

The 11 track album is in one word, stunning. With an offering of something for everyone, it is notably the most impassioned piece of musical art that has stemmed from Tulsa in recent history. Never one to produce a sub par performance, it is no longer a matter of if Weston Horn and The Hush become signed artists, it’s when. Volume 1 is brilliantly written, expertly produced, and lined with the love and dedication needed for success. Good things come to those who work for it. Weston Horn and The Hush should prepare for greatness.

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