Sunday, November 10, 2019

Kurt Baker Combo - "Can't Go Back"

What a great run of new music we've had this fall! That continues with the latest single from the Kurt Baker Combo. The new record is called "Can't Go Back", and it's out now on Wicked Cool Records. These tracks come from the same sessions that resulted in the Combo's outstanding summer 2019 single "(I Can't Help) Failing In Love". This single was produced by Mike Mariconda and post-produced by Wyatt Funderburk under the watchful eye of executive producer Steven Van Zandt. What I love about Baker's records with the Combo is that you never know what you're gonna get. Garage rock? Power pop? British Invasion? Pub rock? You can expect any of that and more. Baker co-wrote "Can't Go Back" with Andrew Rice, his former band-mate in The Leftovers. I sometimes think of The Combo as a modern-day version of The Attractions, so the vintage Elvis Costello flavor of this track just seems fitting. And with a guest appearance on 12-string guitar by the supremely talented Johnathan Pushkar, there's a more than palpable Beatles influence as well. What a great little pop song! On the flip, "No One's Home" is a song Baker co-wrote with Mark O'Flaherty, his band-mate in The Gold. This one's straight-up old school rockabilly and ought to have you reaching for your dancing shoes. I like how this track really lets The Combo turn loose its chops: Jorge Colldan tearing it up on lead guitar while Juancho Lopez & Sam Malakian steer the beat like the pros that they are. If this song doesn't get your toes tapping, nothing will!

Baker and the Combo enlisted a whole slew of talented friends to make "Can't Go Back" a cool record. Additional "guest stars" include Dani Niño on baritone saxophone, Maika Maikovski on backing vocals, Kris Rodgers on keyboards, and Manuel Machín contributing hand-claps. These two songs were definitely tailor made to be paired on a 45, and I imagine a lot of you will be playing the heck out of this thing! This is my tenth time reviewing a Kurt Baker record (or 21st if you include other releases he's played on). How long will it take until I've reviewed ten more? I'll start taking your bets now...


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