Issue July 29, 2014

Mayfield

The Bluesbenders
SELF-RELEASED

The name “The Bluesbenders” is somewhat misleading, at least from a linguistic perspective. The implication is that the band is somehow bending the blues, or manipulating it to render it their own, which is not the case here. With Mayfield, the quintet provides a brand of music neither exploratory nor particularly challenging, although it is a perfectly inoffensive brand of blues-rock, assuming you prefer your ZZ Top aimed at an AM radio audience. The Bluesbenders make music perfect for a State Fair tent, paired appropriately enough with domestic beer specials, on a muggy afternoon with too much exposed flesh around — the kind you don’t want to see — and plenty of drunken cougar dancing. Mayfield plays like Dad Rock, where you imagine that someone probably has one feather earring. But they can sure shred.