When warm weather arrives in the area, the Gulf Coast looks forward to Wes Loper’s visit. Originally from the Mobile Bay area, Loper has been spending most of his days working in Nashville and performing around the Southeast. His local fan base will be pleased to know he has released his latest effort just in time for the holidays. “Natural” is now available for purchase on iTunes.
The tracks on this six-song EP show how Music City has influenced Loper’s style. “Natural” displays a country artist who steers clear of the pop styles that have plagued modern country, arriving at an appealing trademark sound. “Natural” is a collection of great country tunes that range from heartfelt ballads to memorable country anthems. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Loper’s “Natural” would be a perfect stocking-stuffer for a country fan.
Second Tuesday triumph
The November installment of 92ZEW’s Second Tuesday concert series was a little different. Typically, Second Tuesday focuses on one band. This time, 92ZEW mixed things up with two. Based in Destin, Florida, Hotel Oscar has been slowly earning a listening audience west of its beach-side home and definitely earned some new fans at Second Tuesday. The combined efforts of local saxophonists Christopher Spies and Carlos Vizoso took Hotel Oscar’s set into new worlds. As they entwined their tenor and alto sounds, Spies and Vizoso bonded on a musical level that accented Hotel Oscar’s rocked-out grooves.
Guitarist/vocalist Mose Wilson provided the other appealing aspect of Hotel Oscar’s set. The band broke into a jammed-out groove for its second-to-last song. Wilson tripped across the fretboard with an excellent solo reminiscent of Catfish Collins’ work onstage with James Brown. Funk riffs were traded effortlessly with finger-filled runs across the strings. Sometimes guitarists tend to fill their solos with too much work. Wilson balanced his solo with great results.
The Hip Abduction was the Second Tuesday headliner and its first show in Mobile left a permanent impression. This band out of St. Petersburg, Florida, has some of the freshest sounds in the Southeast, something as a mix between the John Butler Trio and Paul Simon during the days of “Graceland” and “Rhythm of the Saints.” The band adds a little reggae to the mix to keep its listeners guessing.
The Hip Abduction’s live performance was a perfect translation of this sound. The incorporation of exotic instruments from around the globe was a welcome addition to the band’s set. Later in the week, The Hip Abduction introduced itself to the OGD at Callaghan’s. After these two shows, this group should have no problem pulling a crowd in Mobile.