Lightnin Rod & The Thunderbolts
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Lightnin Rod & The Thunderbolts

Lakeland, Florida, United States

Lakeland, Florida, United States
Band Blues Classic Rock

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"Mary4Music Review"

Lightnin' Rod & the Thunderbolts
"After The Storm"
Lightning Bolt Records
BY PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO, © December 2008


This CD, as LIGHTNIN' ROD WILSON made a point of telling me, is not about any specific "named storm". It is about all of the various storms that all of us go through from time to time. The way ROD tells it, "What matters the most is the kind of person we are........"AFTER THE STORM".

On "AFTER THE STORM", LIGHTNIN' ROD WILSON, on Lead Vocals, guitars, mandolin, percussion, strings and bass is joined by: BROTHER BILL LEWIS on bass; WALLY WEEBER on drums; ERIC KORTE on tenor sax; DALE BEAGLE on piano and strings; DANIELLE GROSS on backup and lead vocals; AMY ROBERTS on backup vocals; SARAH JONES on alto sax; TIFFANY BAYS, backup vocals; STAN ZIMMER on drums; SMOKIN' JOE ORTIZ on harmonica. Except for "JOHN THE REVELATOR", all tracks were written by LIGHTNIN' ROD WILSON.

The opening track, "CLOSE TO YOU", opens with words that, time and time again, I've found myself saying - "I hope the traffic cop don't have his radar on". It seems, as the title indicates, that ROD is obviously in a rush to get close to his woman. This track features the whole band in a nice tight groove, with great guitar and sax highlights by ROD and ERIC.

"BRING YOU BACK HOME" is just one of the many tracks on this disc which feature intense vocals. DANIELLE & AMY are absolutely superb backing up ROD, who sings his heart out on this one. If like me, you were awed with the powerful way in which RICHARD HARRIS sang "MCARTHUR'S PARK", then you will absolutely love LIGNTNIN' ROD'S vocal style. The rhythm work from BILL & WALLY and the piano playing by DALE also highlight this one.

If you like it funky, "NARCISSISTIC FOOL" will fill that bill. On this one, of course, the rhythm section's on fire and some extra heavy bottom is provided by ERIC as he has that tenor sounding more like a baritone. At THE THUNDERBOLTS live shows, the dancers have to love this one. As a matter of fact, they probably stay right on the floor if the next song played is "CRAWLING BACK HOME". On this smoker, even the wall flowers will have a hard time standing still to the swinging rhythm provided by BILL & ERIC on drums and sax.

There's nothing I like more than hearing a musician say "I GUESS I'LL JUST SING YOU THE BLUES". This one features DANIELLE, on lead vocals, doing just that. However, I promise you that you've never heard them sung like this. Her voice is astoundingly angelic and it's not all that often you hear an angel singing the blues. DALE on piano and strings was equally awesome.

"AFTER THE STORM" closes with a soft instrumental titled 'FLIGHT OF THE FREE SPIRIT". This one is all about ROD and his acoustic guitar. Listening to it was perhaps the most relaxing three minutes I've had in a real long time. I could have sat back, closed my eyes and listened to this for hours.

Other tracks on "AFTER THE STORM" include: "AFTER THE STORM", "WRITING ON THE WALL", "ROSALEE", "CRAWLING BACK HOME", "JOHN THE REVELATOR" and "ALLIGATOR WOMAN".

To check out LIGHTNIN' ROD & THE THUNDERBOLTS, and to purchase a copy of "AFTER THE STORM", just go to www.lightnin-rod.com. Of course, you'll be sure to tell him Pete the Blewzzman sent ya.


Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4music.com - Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro


"Blues Gem"

After the Storm" by Lightnin Rod and The Thunderbolts is true classic blues gem. From front to back the album just screams old school blues with amazing licks, strutting bass lines and beats that swagger. It definitely features a full sound with great female backing vocals and sultry saxophone work thrown into the mix. The album also sounds great, with great care taken in amplifying a great natural guitar tone and shaping a great sound around it. The album comes out of the gates strong with "Close To You," a track that encompasses each and every element of the bands frill-less sound and concept. "Bring you back Home" opens with a wicked guitar intro, gritty vocals and great female back up vocals. The standout track on this album has to be "Narcissistic Fool", which features a slick guitar riff, a fantastic plucky bass line and great sax accents. If you are a fan of artists like JJ Cale, Eric Clapton or BB King this is a must pick up. It stands alone as a truly Professional sounding album with some very well written songs and a very talented band to boot.
-Ross & the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team - Radioindy.com


"Blues Gem"

After the Storm" by Lightnin Rod and The Thunderbolts is true classic blues gem. From front to back the album just screams old school blues with amazing licks, strutting bass lines and beats that swagger. It definitely features a full sound with great female backing vocals and sultry saxophone work thrown into the mix. The album also sounds great, with great care taken in amplifying a great natural guitar tone and shaping a great sound around it. The album comes out of the gates strong with "Close To You," a track that encompasses each and every element of the bands frill-less sound and concept. "Bring you back Home" opens with a wicked guitar intro, gritty vocals and great female back up vocals. The standout track on this album has to be "Narcissistic Fool", which features a slick guitar riff, a fantastic plucky bass line and great sax accents. If you are a fan of artists like JJ Cale, Eric Clapton or BB King this is a must pick up. It stands alone as a truly Professional sounding album with some very well written songs and a very talented band to boot.
-Ross & the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team - Radioindy.com


"Blues Greatness!"

Blues rock bands are sprouting out of the ground like mushrooms at the moment. But when one pops up like Lightnin Rod from Michigan and his seasoned buddies, this team effort manages to stand out among the swamp blues vegetation. This is because Lightnin’ Rod has a real gravelly voice, and has been playing guitar since he was twelve years old. He writes meaningful lyrics and places his soul in the eye of the storm, as it were. Above all, he knows to surround himself with outstanding musicians. The Thunderbolts formed in 2003, after which the line-up changed a number of times. In the current band, all the instrumentalists can list illustrious blues legends with whom they have played: drummer Wally Weeber with Willie Dixon and Robert Cray, to name but two; saxophonist Eric Korte with Chuck Berry and Buddy Guy, amongst others. They help to set the tone of each track; for example, Eric Korte’s sax can be funky, sultry or jazzy by turns. On the intense ‘Rosalee’, his sax allows a more melancholy tone to seep through. Lead singer Lightnin’ Rod sings his songs with full commitment in his voice, giving of himself completely, whether it be on a slow blues track like ‘Bring You Back Home’, which leads out with a lovely piano solo, or on the passionate ‘After The Storm’ that culminates with soulful female backing vocals. The ladies are Danielle and Amy, and their backing vocals lend an authentic atmosphere to the violence of the storm. Their voices also give Tommy Johnson’s ‘John The Revelator’, the only cover on the album, a gospel tinge. Lightnin’ Rod has played with other bands in the past, but this Thunderbolts ensemble seems to be the final configuration, for the moment at least. It was with them that he brought out ‘All American Blues’ in 2004. With this second album ‘After The Storm’, Rod seems to be declaring his intense love for the blues. According to Lightnin’ Rod, everyone, rich or poor, will sooner or later go through the storm of life, that is, everyone will see misery and distress. The most important thing is how you survive the storm, or what you have become once the storm is over. He translates this piece of wisdom into true-to-life music. Bob Seger, Muddy Waters, and Buddy Guy are some of his influences. But when you listen to his own compositions, you realize that more than anything else, he is delving into his own world of bluesy feelings. Just listen to ‘Writing On The Wall’, a gem of its kind that continues to resound like an indictment and a plea, as though it is only through the music that his spiritual anguish can be released.

Marcie -- Rootstime.be - Rootstime.be Magazine


"Blues Greatness!"

Blues rock bands are sprouting out of the ground like mushrooms at the moment. But when one pops up like Lightnin Rod from Michigan and his seasoned buddies, this team effort manages to stand out among the swamp blues vegetation. This is because Lightnin’ Rod has a real gravelly voice, and has been playing guitar since he was twelve years old. He writes meaningful lyrics and places his soul in the eye of the storm, as it were. Above all, he knows to surround himself with outstanding musicians. The Thunderbolts formed in 2003, after which the line-up changed a number of times. In the current band, all the instrumentalists can list illustrious blues legends with whom they have played: drummer Wally Weeber with Willie Dixon and Robert Cray, to name but two; saxophonist Eric Korte with Chuck Berry and Buddy Guy, amongst others. They help to set the tone of each track; for example, Eric Korte’s sax can be funky, sultry or jazzy by turns. On the intense ‘Rosalee’, his sax allows a more melancholy tone to seep through. Lead singer Lightnin’ Rod sings his songs with full commitment in his voice, giving of himself completely, whether it be on a slow blues track like ‘Bring You Back Home’, which leads out with a lovely piano solo, or on the passionate ‘After The Storm’ that culminates with soulful female backing vocals. The ladies are Danielle and Amy, and their backing vocals lend an authentic atmosphere to the violence of the storm. Their voices also give Tommy Johnson’s ‘John The Revelator’, the only cover on the album, a gospel tinge. Lightnin’ Rod has played with other bands in the past, but this Thunderbolts ensemble seems to be the final configuration, for the moment at least. It was with them that he brought out ‘All American Blues’ in 2004. With this second album ‘After The Storm’, Rod seems to be declaring his intense love for the blues. According to Lightnin’ Rod, everyone, rich or poor, will sooner or later go through the storm of life, that is, everyone will see misery and distress. The most important thing is how you survive the storm, or what you have become once the storm is over. He translates this piece of wisdom into true-to-life music. Bob Seger, Muddy Waters, and Buddy Guy are some of his influences. But when you listen to his own compositions, you realize that more than anything else, he is delving into his own world of bluesy feelings. Just listen to ‘Writing On The Wall’, a gem of its kind that continues to resound like an indictment and a plea, as though it is only through the music that his spiritual anguish can be released.

Marcie -- Rootstime.be - Rootstime.be Magazine


Discography

2004 -- All American Blues -- Full Length CD that is still getting radio airplay in many countries

2008 -- After The Storm -- Full Length CD that is getting radio airplay and rave reviews in many countries

Photos

Bio

Gold Artist Award, Grinde Award Winner, two #1 MP3 chart-toppers in two different musical genres, “Sugar & Spice” Music Video was used for the 2010 NME (First For Music News) Award Show. That is just a few of Lightnin’ Rod Wilson’s musical accomplishments.

As a young dreamer growing up in a small town in Southeast Michigan, it was not always so. While playing in several local bands, Rod soaked up the Midwest music environment of rock, blues and Motown like a sponge. During the mid eighties he toured constantly throughout the Midwest as a Contemporary Christian Artist promoting four different album releases. It was during this time, that his music began to receive some radio airplay and good reviews. Then he took a break from his career for a few years to concentrate on songwriting and absorbing the blues. In 1999, many of his previous albums were re-released. Four songs went into the top ten of the internet radio charts, “Dark Clouds”, became a #1 Christian rock song.

In 2003, he put together a blues-rock trio playing throughout Michigan and Ohio. They even performed several times at the infamous “Papa’s Tavern”, known as the launching place for American Idol Runner-up, Crystal Bowersox.

In 2004, with the release of “All-American Blues”, radio stations around the world were playing Rod’s music. “Dreamful of Blues”, became a #1 MP3 song in the general blues category. His newest release, “After The Storm”(2008), picked up where All-American Blues left off, with great reviews and airplay around the world. In 2009, he was awarded both the Grinde Award and Gold Artist Award for the CD.

“After The Storm” was mastered by Robyn Robins, the former keyboard player for many years with Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band. He has worked on projects for Van Morrison, U2, and the Bee Gees. He has over 60 gold and platinum albums to his credit.

Rod’s music has been called “Bob Seger Meets Eric Clapton at Muddy Waters’ House”. Although, those who try to pigeon-hole his music will be left scratching their heads. Always a blues rocker at heart, his music also has shades of soul, Motown, gospel and acoustic influences.

Then there are the Thunderbolts, a top notch group of veteran musicians who have played with the likes of Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Mitch Ryder, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, members of Bruce Springsteen’s band, Crystal Gayle, Holly Dunn and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, just to name a few.

The Thunderbolts are a rare commodity of true musicianship lacking in today’s music scene.

Contact info:
Email: lightninrod@lightnin-rod.com
www.lightnin-rod.com