music_reviews_TheBluesbenders.jpg

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.

"Love Words"

By Martha Greenwald
Your review of "Mayfield" begins with an incorrect assumption, perhaps influenced by your self-professed (as indicated on your website) "love of words." The Bluesbender is a Hohner harmonica, and a model which has been around for a long time. It's revered among harp players, indeed iconic. Your expectation that "Mayfield" would be groundbreaking, based on the band's name, then sets up an analysis of the music which is tainted with ageism and a prejudice against music that is, admittedly, not at all new, and never professed to be. However, there are some good tunes on the CD, and they deserve to be listened to. Your vision of the state fair cougars and feather earring crowd? Well, it would make for great character back story in short fiction but the review is less about the CD and more about your desire to showcase your own descriptive skills.