Shelter Dreams – Dreamin’
Met Jörg Morbitzer plays some fine guitar on the Dreamin CD, by Shelter Dreams. But he’s the partner of one Jay dee, and they’re a German band with a lot of heart and soul put into their rock ‘n roll numbers. But those fine guitar lines deserve as much praise as the songwriting and all other parts laid down as well. This is a group that has been around for years but only recently released their first hard product in January 2017, so it’s still somewhat fresh and worth the early catch, like any self-respecting efforts in the music industry. You have to get that first one out of your head to move onto seeing where the future takes you. And this is all about those dreams that can result in completing such a project.
They open up their first CD release with the sound of “Dreamin” and it’s up and early to rise from a sleepy evening, or you haven’t been dreaming. It almost sounds like a foghorn is starting to blow, but it’s just the sweet sound of Met Jörg Morbitzer’s red hot guitar as it melts to a boiling point before Jay Dee’s vocals turn on and they have a solid opening salvo of sorts, if only it were a notch or two faster. But it’s their vehicle and their lanes to move in and out, you just have to anticipate every turn along the ride. It might seem a little clumsy but they actually work it out, even though it comes with a rough spot or two. It’s live music and that might be why. But they ask what we’re dreaming of and our goals and purposes. And that’s a good enough start but “Not Enough” as I would put it and they do themselves. This is another level from the get-go and that could not be more asked for when you get it so immediately you have the time to take note of it while trying to take it in. The vocals tone down to a lighter, almost sinister but evocative sounding drawl. This has witty lyrics that nearly deceive what it’s about, as a suave drawl comes out to match the subsequent harp lines which feature well. Then it goes into a higher vocal registry and the shouting gets the point more across. But this feels more like an exercise compared to the more rocking “Going Down” which is about a hitchhiking ride. It’s one of the smoother tracks, a shuffle with just the right pace and vocal temperament, even though it has a haunting factor to it. The guitars are fun and it just kicks the other two songs before it in the pants. But it gets even better with “Mean Baby” because it stays locked in the same groove and extends the same wavelength. But it manages to go into some jazz territory and show their chops for what they are, which steams of jamming versatility. They have a swampy sort of chemistry that’s laid back and playful, as well as being good musicians and storytellers who’ve been played an extreme amount on the radio in Europe.
On “No No” the guitars find their highest plateau, with an incendiary string attack by Morbitzer, showing his virtuosic prowess without missing any musicality in the process. It’s followed-up by the lesser enjoyable but still adventurous “Maybe Over The Border” which hangs lower among the cracks of the album, but still has some more tasteful playing to anchor it. The drums get a shout out on this track to be as fair as it gets. And that’s the final track, but they added bonus material with a long instrumental outing that puts the icing on the proverbial cake of a first effort by this German duo.