From vocalist JB Brisendine - "The Clear Lake" is all about finding peace, seeing things for what they really are, and embracing love. It’s a concept my Mom Leslie gave to me one day. I was facing a tough decision and she told me “you’ll see exactly what to do, you’re the Clear Lake baby”. From there “The Clear Lake” became any thing or place or person that can be that peace for me. So that’s what the song became about, the verses being the depression and a muddled mind, and the chorus a list of things that pull me out of it. “You’re just like smoke from the chimney, just like a heron on the breeze. You’re just like the wind through the trees, just like “On The Beach”, just like all those things that comfort me when I’m in need”. On The Beach is my favorite Neil Young record and it was my dad’s too."
I know these guys have seen a tough road in the last year, my heart goes out to JB and Leslie for the loss of Joe Brisendine Sr., their harmonica player and JB's father and Leslie's Husband. I know the personal pain of losing a father is like a void in your life that can't be replaced, and I hope their hearts find peace. That being said, this is easily one of the best bands around right now. They started out strong with "Love Songs" and "Affairs of Plain Livin" and they re-recorded stuff for "Big Medicine". This batch of new material, for me, just continues their musical legacy and concretes them as one of the best blues influenced rock bands out there, and if you've ever seen them live you'll agree with me. JB absolutely shreds on guitar, belting out sonic solos for the ages while Nick plays keys and backing vocals and adds another layer of atmosphere, with James laying down the hard-hitting bass lines and Allan rounds them out on drums. This album from the jump lets you know that this is new material and they're not going to rest on the laurels of previous success, this band is extremely hard working. We streamed the opening track 'Quitting Time' which is a hell of a way to start an album. Pretty much anyone can relate to the message these guys are laying down, which is a constant stuggle in the search for happiness and contentment and finding that through the music. From my understanding, Joe Sr. did the harmonica on 'Black Dog' so I'm sure this song means an awful lot to the entire band, his mournful tones will sorely be missed. This song to me is one of the stand out tracks, but honestly every single song is good. It's also hard to review a band that you respect and admire so much, so excuse me for gushing. This song is my personal favorite, it's a journey through the bands skills and hits every note I was expecting. "Good as Gold" has a really sorrowful feel, this one really hit me hard. You can tell this album is really a labor of love, and this jam is a good example of that. You can feel the deep south oozing from the blues infused riffs. "White Oak" is an acoustic song that continues the sorrowful vibe, this is another one of my favorites on this but it's hard to pick just one. "I'll make a clear lake of my mind" seems to be a metaphore for finding solitude and clarity. The theme of the Clear Lake runs throughout this album, and I'm sure the more I listen to it I'll be finding connections for a while. This album is solid from start to finish, every single song is awesome, and I don't think I can recommend this band more to people that enjoy good music, blues, southern rock, great lyrics, sick riffs and solos, and the nice atmosphere added by the keyboards. So basically, buy this when it comes out, support this band, and let's hope to see them at festivals like Bonnaroo in the future, because they're better than most of the bands playing that shit. I can't say enough good things about this band and the guys in it, so please listen and find out for yourself. JB was nice enough to type up the lyrics for this, so here goes: Quittin’ Time I couldn’t be more sorry it ended up this way but believe me when i tell you i couldn’t last another day I just had nothin’ left to say cause it’s a half past the crack of the crystal and fifteen minutes til the whistle I just can’t wait to be movin’ on with all the breakin our hearts have taken I’m surprised that we held on this long you might think I’m wrong you think I’m full of shit but you can think whatever helps you get the hell over this turn me into something you won’t miss cause it’s a half past the crack of the crystal and fifteen minutes til the whistle i can’t wait to be movin’ on it the price of my happiness is a little loneliness I’m down to pay it all night long Keep Your Fingers Crossed Lay me down hold me close tell me all them things you know i wanna know but darlin don’t run from my ghosts wipe away all my fears don’t let me repeat my past show me that this love is real but darlin don’t let me keep you out oh darlin don’t let me live in doubt cause all i want from you all i need from you is love i won’t run from you i won’t hide from you or this love i get scared of lettin you down “how’s she ever gonna live with all my demons around?” but darlin i won’t let them keep you out darlin i won’t live my life in doubt Good as Gold I been here before i didn’t know your name i been here before this place this street these people this day and i felt it all from lifetimes away i felt your light from the darkest of my days don’t hang me out you know I’d never get right darlin there ain’t no doubt I’m just a cold lantern without your light i been here before but never this real i swam in the shallows so long i wasn’t sure if i could hear you callin from deep unto deep and feel your light shine over me White Oak I stood out amongst it all i felt the wind across the water pull me in i looked back on it all every sunrise was a gift i keep inside I’ll be the place that we can go I’ll be the strength that we can find I’ll make a clear lake of my mind I’ll be the one who always knows what’s ahead and what’s behind I’ll make a clear lake of my mind i looked out through the trees the wind sang and the oaks swayed all for me and i thought of all that they’ve seen and all they’ve yet to see when I’m gone they’ll still sing I’ll be the place that we can go I’ll be the strength that we can find I’ll make a clear lake of my mind I’ll be the one who always knows what’s ahead and what’s behind I’ll make a clear lake of my mind I’ll be the one who lets us know what we have when we have life I’ll make a clear lake of my mind The Clear Lake This night is gettin lonely there’s sickness all around and all of the things i thought i had put down are comin back to haunt me and fillin up my head and i never thought I’d find you there after all this time you’re just like smoke from the chimney just like a heron on the breeze you’re just like the wind through the trees just like “On The Beach” just like all those things that comfort me when I’m in need this night is gettin lonely there’s no one left to call and all of the things i thought I’d just brushed off are comin back to haunt me I’m deep in my own head and i only wish I’d find you there The Black Dog 85 south burnin up the road to James’ house the lights hit the fog and I’m seein the black dog on every road if i don’t get home before too long it feels like i won’t ever get home at all but i gotta stay gone the Spanish borderline leavin all the cold and rain behind i can see from the mountainside there’s an ocean between me and paradise no one loves their home like someone who’s had to be gone West Asheville Sea I’ll just keep breakin my bones crashing over and over on all the rock and stone piled up around your heart where many a man’s been known to drown alone I’ll just keep payin the price for mistakes another man made in your life til i ain’t got a thing left to pay for mine I ain’t the strongest man alive but someday soon I’m gonna rise with the tide i just hope i wash ashore by your side Weight When I’m here without you baby i don’t neee help feelin down we got the same bad blues with different symptoms comin round i am so mired up i just need you to pull me out if you’re lonesome for me baby don’t leave me to tote the heat i can hold it for a while but there fire’s burnin at my feet. Pull me out Force of Will How bad do i want all those things i said I’d suffer for? How much did it mean when i swore this was everything to me? How much can i take? Will i lay down and have it someone else’s way? Cause i know it won’t wait it’s too hot to hold but it’s still mine to tame i know that it’s nothing or everything let me give myself to the things i need i know that it’s nowhere or all the way let me see myself where i wanna be i know that it’s never or every day let me give myself to the things i need i know that it’s over or it’s on it’s way let me see myself