Fog Blues and Brass Band – Twelve Bar Prescription | Album Review

Fog Blues and Brass Band – Twelve Bar Prescription

Independent Release

6 Tracks – 23 Minutes

Kitchener Ontario’s Fog and Brass band were semi-finalists at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis following the 2019 release of their debut album, Into the Fog. But although the band is new, the performers are all seasoned professionals. Hilliard “Hills” Walter performed with the Waterloo Oxford Jazz Choir in 1983 and joined his first rock band around that same time while still in high school. He joined his first professional band at age 19 and performed with numerous acts over the twenty years both as a band member and as a session musician. All of which led him to join Fog. Hills provides the lead vocals and plays harmonica. Guitarist Tim Palser has been performing with various bands for 45 years but prefers not to discuss his personal life. Al Hosack started playing guitar at age 12, but switched to bass, He played in the band Fallen Angels, which included musicians from Bad Company, Uriah Heep, Klaatu, and David Gilmour Band. Drummer Domenic Di Nino has over 40 years’ experience playing for groups in very diverse genres.  Keyboardist Bobby Becker got his start playing for The Rembrandts while he was still in high school and formed Yukon which had a minor hit, “Understanding is Sorrow” in 1971 and reached #73 on the Billboard charts. Alto sax player Joe Dublanski started singing in a Quebec boys’ choir at age four. Like the other players, he has performed with a large number of other bands before he landed in Fog. Dan Jancar started playing sax at in grade 7 after hearing Clarence Clemons play with Bruce Springsteen. Again, a large number of bands later, he joined Fog playing tenor and baritone sax, and has recently been nominated for the 2024 Maple Blues Award for Horn Player of the Year.

Together the seven-piece band forms a tight knit group with powerful blues as their focus. This is the band’s second album release following a single release of “Why Get Up” in 2023. Robi Banerji on lap steel also guests on the album. The title song kicks off the six original songs on the album in style as Hills sings that he has “Got the blues and needs a twelve- bar prescription” ” with brief blasts of individual guitar, keyboard and sax leads. Tim Palser’s guitar leads “Two Deep” in a classic blues rock song with strong backing vocals and Hills’ harmonica dropping in followed by Bobby’s honky-tonk piano.

Hills declares he has the “Seven Year Itch” and has to cure it. “Beaterland” is a “short little fellow people say is a someone who has your back”.  Bobby pulls out the organ on this one. Next up, “Hey Lucy”, is a funky horn-driven rocker with Hills’ questioning his wife of a short time “who is already acting strange”.  On “Who’s Gonna Suffer” Hills declares that “I’ve got a girl you know the type. She’s got it good when she loves me right. When things go wrong it’s her right to make me pay all day and all night”.

Hills has a great driving baritone voice. The band blends a great mix between each of the instruments in some fine rocking blues rock.

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