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Americana Review gives David Serby and The Latest Scam a great review!

Americana Review

Friday, January 31, 2014

Album Review: David Serby and the Latest Scam

The goal of this blog has always been to promote the great music that is created by hard working, dedicated and talented artists who do their best to stay positive to themselves and their craft. I’ve had the great fortune to write about a lot of great musicians, singers, songwriters and bands. These are the people I love writing about, the ones that create music and albums for the love of the art. Los Angeles, California has long been known as a hot bed for great music, and the latest project from David Serby is proof positive that the Los Angeles independent music scene is still thriving to this day.

David Serby and the Latest Scam is the fifth release from this talented singer-songwriter-musician. If you’re looking for an album that explores various aspects of human relationships, the trials of life and has a feel good aspect to it, this project belongs in your collection. The album is reminiscent of the old sound of California country-rock of the late 60’s and early 70’s in the vain of Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Considering this project is a double-CD containing 20 songs in total, it is great value for your money.

The first CD kicks off with a great up tempo number called “True Love” and leads right in to one of the many highlights of the album, “Amnesia.” This is a cleverly written tune that speaks to a condition I’m sure many of us have acquired when we find ourselves in the opening stages of a new romantic relationship. Generally speaking, it leads to a situation where your world becomes that person, you don’t go out with your friends anymore, that sort of thing, which is a different topic for a different blog.

“When Couples Fall In Love” keeps the new love theme going, and the masses can relate to this story. New love starts off with fiery passion, then settles down somewhat as the relationship grows and gains solidarity. What impresses me about this track, in addition to the solid writing, is how it sounds. Sonically, it takes me back to the days of a great country music group of the mid- to late-1980′s, The Desert Rose Band.

Another of the great highlights of this double CD package is “You’re Bored”, which relates the story of the (dreaded?) phone call that one may receive from that ex-partner who wants to, possibly/maybe/who the heck knows for sure, get back together. Fortunately for our central character in this story, he has the strength to see through the folly of getting involved again. Great song lyrically and musically.

Other highlights of this double-CD package include “Breaking News”, “Rumour of Our Own”, “Better With My Hands” and “Waiting Out the Storm.” This is a really solid project that David Serby and producer Ed Tree have put together. You can order the package directly from their web site, and you can sample six of the tracks via the playlist. Give David Serby and the Latest Scam your time. If this project is any indication of the great music to come in 2014, it is going to be an outstanding year.

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Robert Kinsler at The Desert Star Weekly says the new record sets the bar for 2014

THE DESERT WEEKLY – NEW ALBUMS SET BAR FOR 2014

Artist: David Serby

Title: David Serby and The Latest Scam (Independent)

You might like if you enjoy: Rockpile, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello

Tell me more:

Like Elvis Costello, David Serby is not content to work in and around one genre. On the heels of his wonderful folk-roots tour de force “Poor Man’s Poem” and several honky tonk collections (notably 2009′s “Honkytonk and Vine”) the San Gabriel, California-based artist has issued an outstanding 2-disc power-pop album “David Serby and The Latest Scam.”

The 20 songs boast the authentic songwriting instincts that have made Serby’s previous work such a marvel adorned with and extra jolt of Nick Lowe-meets-Plimsouls melody displayed on shimmering songs such as “When Couples Fall in Love” and “Do I Still Need to Worry?”

Robert Kinsler

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Phoenix at Examiner.com runs down David Serby and The Latest Scam

Examiner.com – Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Exhibits – David Serby’s ‘David Serby And The Latest Scam’

January 22, 2014

California-based indie singer-songwriter David Serby is off in a new musical direction with his latest release David Serby And The Latest Scam. The double CD contains 20 tracks culled from an original 50. On this audio offering Serby (rhythm guitar and vocals) is assisted by producer Edward Tree (lead guitar and keys), Gregory Boaz (bass) and Dale Daniel (drums).

The first disc opens on “True Love”. It’s a high-energy track with effective hooks on an album that blends his former Americana music with retro-pop. The second selection is “Amnesia” which was inspired by a conversation with a friend.

“I ran into a friend at a show one night who I hadn’t seen in awhile. I asked him where he’d been and he said he had a new girl who he had been spending time with . . . and you know how that goes. I got to thinking about it and I realized that a lot of times a guy or girl will get a new squeeze and they’ll kind of forget about everything they’ve been doing and all the people they’d been hanging out with before they met that person. That night I went home and wrote a song about a guy who falls in love with a girl named ‘Amnesia’ and forgets everything.”

“When Couples Fall In Love” carries on the themes of communication and relationships here. It’s followed by “Waiting Out The Storm”. This musical metaphor is already an early favorite of online critics.

“Ain’t No Way To Live” is also included here as Serby continues to show listeners what he’s got. “You’re Bored” is a common sense cut that many should take to heart and is also an early fan favorite. “I’ll Meet You There” is one of two ballads on the project.

It’s one of his most effective efforts. Serby says it’s “about being able to connect with someone emotionally that you can’t actually connect with physically any longer. How you each have a place saved in your heart that will always belong to that other person.”

Also included on the first disc are the critically-praised “Those Ain’t My Dreams”, the significantly-questioning “Do I Still Need To Worry?” and lyrically- interesting “Pharaohs”.

The consistency continues on Disc 2 with “What She’s Running From” as the lead-in. “Breaking News” follows but is perhaps overshadowed by the more direct, early fan favorite “I Still Miss You”. “Rumor of Our Own” follows the overall ideas here.

“Everybody Loves a Fool” is also already receiving kudos from online critics. “Critic’s Choice” though goes to “Pretty Little Kitty”. It maintains Serby’s signature sound and works well for those who likes curling up with a little kitty.

“Better With My Hands” is one of the best tracks on the disc. It has a night-universal message. Serby explains that the song “is about how men and women communicate differently, especially when things are not going well. Men have a tendency to climb into a dark hole to process their confusion and anger. They’re struggling to find words that’ll fix the relationship. The irony is that a lot of time women don’t need the words.”

Disc 2 also includes the decidedly non-religious “Gospel Truth”, the appropriately blues-tinged “Tumbleweed Blacktop Blues” and the closing cut “Like She Was Never Here”. Overall, it’s a multi-genred musical mixture that makes it clear that Serby both knows what he’s doing even if he has deservedly over-indulged himself a bit here. “Breaking News”? If “You’re Bored”, check out David Serby’s David Serby And The Latest Scam.

My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.

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Lonesome Highway digs David Serby and The Latest Scam!

Lonesome Highway – David Serby and the Latest Scam – Self-Release

DateTuesday, January 14, 2014 at 03:07PM

There’s something slightly tongue-in-cheek about why Serby has called his band here The Latest Scam, as over a series of album He has given us honky-tonk, roots rock and acoustic based music. He has recently also been playing bass in the band Heymaker. He has credited Rockpile – The Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds’ band – with the inspiration to make this roots rock/beat country double album. Which is part British Invasion, part twang but always vibrant and hook filled. Song like Amnesia and When Couples Fall In Love are testimony to that. Over the twenty tracks that feeling is reinforced. Some are closer to a country feel than others but whatever direction Serby takes the song he does it with conviction.

The album was produced by West Coast veteran Edward Tree who is also the lead guitarist here. Tree is accomplished at both tasks and is joined by former Hacienda Brothers drummer Dale Daniel and bassist Gregory Boaz, who played with Dave Alvin amongst others. A top notch band who sure sound like it here.

The diverse nature of the songs is underlined by the electric sitar of You’re Bored or the ballads I’ll Meet You There and Better With My Hands, the Sixties sounding I Still Miss You or the twangy Everybody Loves A Fool and Gospel Truth. Serby continues to explore the many aspects of his muse and he has shown himself to be a versatile and prolific writer who, more than anything, is concerned with getting it right and making music that he is proud of.

Never more so than here with a set of songs played with a sense of fun that seems imbedded into the heart of the music. The skill is obvious and the sound infectious especially to anyone who remembers Rockpile’s similar energy and enterprise. But this is not music that just looks back, rather it offers a path that can be further explored. There is no sham in this scam which provides much more than a few seconds of pleasure.

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Liverpool Sound and Vision gives David Serby and The Latest Scam 4 stars!

David Serby & The Latest Scam. Album Review.
Published on January 13, 2014 by admin in Music
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Not only does David Serby have an affinity, a sort of undisputed empathy with the emotions of humanity; the desire to get deep down and dirty in the psychology of what drives us all, but his way of getting that affinity across is almost pure and full. He has that great skill of being able to hear without speaking, for listening with full attention and giving a song of great humour and emotion in return in the album David Serby & The Great Scam.

His change of direction from his previous album, the wonderful Poor Man’s Poem is marked, the look away from the collective pain felt by a nation under stress, physically and economically, is replaced by a collection of songs that deal in some way with the art of communication, or indeed the lack of communication in some cases and thirdly in how we can same the things as someone else but mean an entirely different thing. It is the ability to converse in many different ways that has set humanity apart from the rest of nature and the way David Serby’s folk-roots mind plays with language and the dishonesty and honesty reflects this perfectly.

With 20 songs spread over a double C.D. set there is never a dull moment in which the music might wash over the listener and find them reflecting on anything other than the great tracks that fill this album to the brim. The ease in which the enjoyment of each song fills up the room, the beauty of lyrics that don’t just fill the brain but take it on a long ride through the complexity of desire and emotions, is remarkable.

Such stunning simplicity should not really be possible but David Serby, with supporting musicians Edward Tree, Gregory Boaz and Dale Daniel, makes songs such as Amnesia, Walking Out The Storm, the fantastic You’re Bored, Those Ain’t My Dreams, I Still Miss You, Everybody Loves A Fool and Better With My Hands, feel as though the musician and lyric writer has been taking down notes from your private diary and inner thoughts and taken them to his own heart, treated them with care and turned them into a collection of songs that really gets down to the point of humanity, the basic fact of wanting to feel love and the fear of what happens when that love is revealed.

David Serby & The Latest Scam is an album in which life feels affirmed and which should be celebrated, even when love kicks you in the teeth, you have still felt something very special. Very cool and very enjoyable.

David Serby & The Latest Scam is available from January 21st.

Ian D. Hall

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