The DownTown Mystic on E Street EP has been out since the start of summer in late June and the reviews are in. Obviously, if the reviews were bad, I wouldn’t be talking about them in this blog. As you can imagine, the reviews have been good—really good, and in some cases, outright phenomenal! We’re going to re-post the 2 best reviews in their entirety and give you a taste of some of the others who have been so kind to us. 🙂
The average review gets between 10-20 tweets on Twitter. This review has gotten over 2600 tweets!! It’s a killer review with many thanks to Rick from JamSphere:
By: Rick Jamm Posted date: August 03, 2015
DownTown Mystic started as the alter ego of Sha-La Music President, Robert Allen, and then morphed into a group project, combining forces with a stellar cast of musicians. On the self-titled DownTown Mystic album, Robert was joined by a talented group of musicians, including drummer extraordinaire Steve Holley (Paul McCartney/Wings/Elton John/Ian Hunter) and urban legend Paul Page (Dion/Ian Hunter) on bass, as well as one of the greatest rhythm sections in the history of American Rock ‘n’ Roll – Garry Tallent and Max Weinberg of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
A few months ago DownTown Mystic released their 4-track Ep, entitled “On E STREET” currently available on Amazon and other download stores. The writing, the musicianship, and most importantly, the groove – it all comes together right here on this recording. From the rollicking opening of “Hard Enough” to the closing notes of the intensely rocking, “Sometimes Wrong”, this Ep is filled with exceptional music. Just a few listens and you’ll be singing along with every inspired lyric and in awe of a truly amazing band at the height of its musical powers.
Very few new albums feel like classics these days, one reason is most are too long! Artists have to try to make something out of tracks that really would be better on the cutting room floor. On the contrary, every moment on this gem is precise and to the point. It has a beautiful organic rock n’ roll groove, powerfully forged on “Way To Know” as well as a melodic country-rock sound on “And You Know Why”, all stirred into a beautifully played and sung set.
This music is so rich it oozes out of the speakers and spreads all over your inner core! If this was a vinyl recording, I would have worn out the grooves on the Ep’s best two songs – “Hard Enough” and “Way To Know” – by now! Some things just get better with age and DownTown Mystic is one of those things. Their blend of rock will get your head bobbing, and you humming along uncontrollably, until you feel like your soul will burst in some fantastic way.
To those of you that are interested in serious rock n’ roll but have not yet dived, head first into the DownTown Mystic catalog, I’d suggest “On E STREET” as your gateway into the band’s infectious unmistakable vibe, wrapped up with ace musicianship, topped with great songwriting, and delivered with powerful, heartfelt vocals. This is the place to start for timeless rock n’ roll!
Now this next review from the UK is one of those that remind me of the reviews I was getting in Europe 3 years ago for Standing Still. For some reason, the Press over there really likes to put it on the line with comparisons to Springsteen. I don’t know why, but I get it. If you’re going to put “E Street” in the title, you have to be ready for what could follow. You’re asking for it, right? Of course it’s very flattering to have your music compared to a great artist like Bruce Springsteen. I’m lucky that they like it and usually have some keen insights into the music.
The truth is, as an artist and a musician; you want your music and playing to be taken seriously. So when I see a review that compares me to a Rock Icon like Bruce, I really feel that the writer took me seriously and is giving me some “RnR Cred”, and that is truly gratifying. Otherwise, IMHO, it’s a bit over the top. I really don’t see why Bruce should be brought in because his rhythm section is playing with me. It’s only rock’n’roll people…no need to get carried away! 🙂
Having said all that, thanks to Erick for this very kind review in Bearded Magazine:
By Erick Mertz Posted Date: Aug 19th, 2015
Breaking off Downtown Mystic’s album On E Street reminds me of that old cereal conundrum. Does box cover actually match the product?
Because, you know, there’s nothing worse than being promised marshmallow fun and games, rainbows and elves, for something that turns out to be little more than a heap of sweetened cardboard. The cover of On E Street promises The Boss’s magic, not just in the allusion to his famous band, but with a couple of key names, Garry W Tallent and the venerable Max Weinberg.
Gotta crack open the box though. Turns out, Downtown Mystic is as sweet as promised. It’s a steady set of hard rocking adult contemporary rock that is as timeless as the sad clown motif. “Hard Enough” and “Way To Know” are jukebox blues numbers but the star of them all is (of course) the single, “And You Know Why” which bounces around, self assured, playful and tinged with a little of that silver streaked bravado.
There aren’t any rainbows or elves. There sure aren’t any marshmallows either. That wasn’t what was promised though, was it? A little Bruce. A little E Street. It’s all right here, sweet as hoped for.
All in all, that’s a cool review. Here are excerpts from some other cool reviews, which don’t think Springsteen is an influence:
Mike Olinger got it all started with the Premiere of the Single on The Vinyl District: “We have the pleasure of exclusively premiering the band’s newest single “And You Know Why” which spins the classic rock vibes of yesteryear into a tight blend of nostalgic Americana. If the bittersweet opening slide guitar phrases don’t capture your attention, wait for the soaring chorus at :40 which glides out of the speakers in pristine 3 part harmony.”
Adam Jones on The Music Farmer: “DOWNTOWN MYSTIC is a brand new artist on the rise with classic roots made of gold. The first thought that comes to my mind – this is AWESOME! The music is very reminiscent of vintage rock n’ roll while keeping one foot in the place of modern day music production.”
Sahar on Blog Critics wrote: “Allen’s passion for old school rock and roll comes through in all four of these tracks, although it’s hard to pinpoint a specific influence to each one. There are hints of so many different artists and rock and roll styles that it creates a sound both very familiar but fresh, not original but still engaging…While all four tracks definitely have a strong retro feel, mostly in the way they are stripped of modern day production fanfare, they are not outdated and would make for a solid addition to rock lovers’ music libraries.”
Will Lyewin wrote some seriously cool stuff on HipLanta: “Downtown Mystic’s new album asks a simple question, “What happened to rock n roll being fun?”. When I stared to think about this the first thing that popped into my mind was Guns n Roses. Downtown Mystic sounds nothing like Guns N Roses, but GnR represents the last band of an era, before music found itself at a turning point…Allen proves he is a man who has not forgotten that. It would be easy to dismiss it as retro, but I don’t get the impression that this is someone consciously trying to recapture the sound of a certain era…there is some smart songwriting going on here…Overall this album is a lot of fun. If you want to do some deep thinking then go listen to Bon Iver, but if you want something to take you back to a more carefree time when rock rocked and auto-tune did not exist then here is one for you.”
Besides the reviews, there’s also a really cool article from Avenue 1 that was written by Nick Christophers, who when not freelancing as a music journo is the editor of Mob Candy Magazine. So there you have it. Again, my sincerest thanks to all of those writers. There’s really nothing else I can say after those incredible reviews. I’m done! 🙂