Local Wire

You Asked For It: Mike Lennon

Band: Mike Lennon, a country-tinged classic rock-y sideproject from the the bassist of Psychobilly Rodeo Band, the house band at Scottsdale's Rusty Spur saloon.
Record: The Dateline Phoenix 2009 album. The included press materials make it clear the record was actually written and recorded in 2007, making this "dateline" inaccurate.
Basics: At his best Lennon sounds a little like a lo-fi and electrified blues playing Jimmy Buffett, since his voice is nearly a dead ringer for the Head Pirate In Charge. Thankfully there is nothing remotely "psychobilly" about this effort which is pretty straight forward bar rock.

Best Song: "Riding In The Backseat" has a nice jangle, some of the best riffs on the record and doesn't get bogged down with any overdone solos.
Worst Song: "Temple of Doom," is poorly mixed, and ends up sounding pretty muddy. The guitar solo that ends the song is way, way overdone.
Suggested Changes: A song like "Psycho Woman," which has a nice loose, fun feel would sound a lot more like Gram Parsons (one of Lennon's listed influences) if they lyrics weren't quite so cheesy. Lennon writes some nice songs, but too many of the lyrics sound like they were written by Gene Vincent (another of Lennon's listed influences).
Grade: C+

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Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar