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Cool Blue Nite

Lessons in the Blues: Nitecry gets rough and tumble on new album.

The South Bay's NiteCry rocks in a variety of grooves on 'Too Cool' new album

By Nicky Baxter

SOME SAY THAT NITECRY is the hardest-rocking combo in the South Bay, but I wasn't convinced until I saw the band in performance. Fronted by guitarist Rene Solis, NiteCry laces its rock with large amounts of sweaty R&B and blues. Steve Siacotis' rough-and-tumble vocals are buoyed by Richard Palmer's keyboards and Craig Detwiler's nasty saxophone. Too Cool to Be Blue (20 20 Records), the band's second, and latest, album, produced by respected blues player Joe Louis Walker, parades a variety of styles, ranging from the horn-heavy swagger of "Lesson in the Blues" to the juke-joint jump of "I May Be Crazy."

"No Right Way" bops along like a Tower of Power tune. Written by Richard Palmer, "No Right Way" showcases NiteCry's developing talent for harmony--and Palmer's honky-tonk piano embellishments are attention-grabbing without being ostentatious. But perhaps what stands out most on this disc is Detwiler's playing and arranging. Without question, the saxophonist has spent some time listening to Tower of Power, but he's no one's copycat. Though skeletal, his horn charts for "That's My Way" are miles away from Tower of Power's East Bay grease. There are a few miscues. Despite Walker's presence on "Imitation Ice Cream Blues," the track sounds like its title: imitative. The same is true for the trite "It's Only Money." But these are relatively minor quibbles; what matters is that NiteCry's Too Cool to Be Blue avoids the sophomore doldrums by sticking to the basics.

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From the July 17-23, 1997 issue of Metro.

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