"After The Storm" is a triumphant return for the Twisters, a band traumatized by when bass player James Taylor was lost in a 2005 accident during a road trip. There was a temptation to dissolve the enterprise, the shock was that intense. But two things made them reconsider. The first was the overwhelming support of their fans and the Canadian blues community; the second was the availability of one of Canadian’s finest standup bass players in Keith Picot.
This band possesses masterful talent, starting with veteran harpist/vocalist Dave "Hurricane" Hoerl. He’s the only original member from the band’s early days, and his stature has been cemented by hook-laden songs like "When Your Memory Goes Away".
First and foremost, the Twisters are sultans of swing, and "Thick or Thin" (featuring Kenny Wayne on keyboards) and "Going, Going, Gone" will keep your toes tapping to groovy backbeats. "Second Wind" is a breezy instrumental that showcases Hoerl’s impeccable harmonica chops along with guitarist Brandon Isaak’s sparkling West Coast-style guitar. Cool daddy-o! "Honest To Goodness" has a palpable Jimmy Reed vibe to it, with Hoerl extracting those high piercing notes like the master himself, while Isaak summons up the spirit of Reed’s "co-pilot" Eddie Taylor.
There’s lot of other fine stuff, especially the semi-autobiographical "Harp Player" where Hoerl revels in his lifelong love affair with the Blues harmonica, while also saluting that instrument’s contribution to other genres.
Guitarist Brandon Isaak brings other strengths to the table with his soulful singing and solid writing craftsmanship. Just check out "Button Up", "Where’s The Woman" and also the funk-laden "Nobody". The only cover on "After The Storm" is Sonny Boy 2’s Bye Bye Bird.
The sound is warm and inviting, and full credit to Chis Isaak (Brandon’s brother) who co-produced "After The Storm" in his Whitehouse Yukon studio. The Twisters are considered one of Canada’s top Blues bands, and my thirst for seeing them perform has been whetted by this very solid release.