Please check out the reviews below of our new CD, Howlin'
Thank you Bman and the Blues Report!
Many thanks to Don & Sheryl from the Nashville Blues Society for their review! Please follow the link below.
Thanks, Doug for your review of Howlin in the Norman Transcript! Please follow the link below.
Thanks to Bill Wilson and Reflections in Blue!
We would like to thank Chris Spector of the Midwest Record Review for his review of Howlin'
We greatly appreciate Dave Rubin's review of Howlin' below. Thanks Dave!
Lara & Bluz Dawgz
Lara & the Bluz Dawgz Howlin’
There are many shades of blue, but the blues range from deep cerulean to hot crimson. Singer Lara Germony and her bassist husband Gregg lead their Bluz Dawgz from Nashville through a veritable musical rainbow on their sophomore CD. Like Devil Moon (2012) released to glowing reviews, Howlin’ runs the gamut fromjazzy cool to outright rocking.
12 original romantic tales feature the estimable talents of Al Rowe (guitars), Dan Nadasdi (keyboards), Ray Gonzales (drums) and Reggie Murray (tenor saxophone) in a seamless ensemble. “Uh Huh” boogies as Lara’s velvety chops express regret with “You said you were the one for me, said your love was all I’d even need. I was wrong to send you away, I just want you back now, back to stay” as Murray and Rowe console instrumentally. The guitarist and saxist duel on the funky “Flat Line,” Lara declaring “Walkin’ away from this mess, nothin’ can save us I guess. Reachin’ outside the pain, startin’over again… time to call it done …. when you flat line.” The dark minor ballad “I Wonder” has Lara summoning pathos through “I watch you walk by, baby, my heart skips a beat. I can’t quite catch your eye through the bustle of the street. So I watch you and I wonder.”
Lara channels rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson on the rousing “Wearin’ Me Out,” chastising a slacker with “You never roll with the punches, let them pass you by. You seem to have a continued black eye” as Rowe, Murray and Nadasdi burn. Lara has an itch on the slinky “T-Dawg Lovin’”, lustily singing “I need me some T-dawg lovin’, gotta get me some today. Lord, I need that sweet man’s lovin’, any amount in any way.” She is tough on the surging R&B of “Don’t Mess with My Baby,” threatening “It’s all over town, word is you been getting’ around. I think it’s only fair to say, you best stay outta’ my way …”
Silky jazz-blues on “Love Me Tonight” frames Lara caressing “Candle lights glowing, the doors locked up tight, snuggle up closer, let’s heat up the night,” the band chilling with finesse. In “I’m Over It,” her sassy “You probably think I’m devastated, I guess that’s why you hesitated… Oh, wait just a minute, I’m over it” contrasts with the sprightly shuffle beat. The soul ballad “Say Goodbye” is perfect for “I know that we both gave it our very best try. I’ve been over it inside my mind so many times. Where there’s no fire, there surely is no spark. I’ve got nothing left here in my heart” as Rowe and Murray shed musical tears.
The swinging “Love of Mine” is a sweetly sung love letter of “Got no place we should be goin’. Stars in the sky are really glowin’. Just holdin’ your hand, love of mine.” The minor key “Shadow Groovin’” about an illicit affair gets a noirish cast from Murray while Lara implores “ Umm hmm, you’re lookin’ so right. Come on with me and we’ll take the night. Quiet now we’re out of sight, slippin’ around baby, wrong or right, on the run from the morning light.” The title track closes with an N’Awlins flavor as Lara invites “Friday night, the moon is out, kind’a night makes you want to shout. Stars are shinin’, time is right, come out and howl with me tonight.”
Lara and Gregg Germony and their scrappy Bluz Dawgs effortlessly convey the many hues of the blues. Their music takes the listener for a smooth ride from heartbreak to ecstasy with nary a bump in the road.
2005 KBA winner in Journalism
Many thanks to Peter Merrett of Melbourne Australia for his kind review of Howlin' below.
*** LARA & THE BLUZ DAWGZ - "Howlin' "
Lock Alley Music
Lara Germony - Vocals.
Gregg Germony - Bass.
Al Rowe - Guitars.
Dan Nadasci - Keyboards.
Ray Gonzales - Drums.
Reggie Murray - Tenor Saxophone.
*** Track 1. - "Uh Huh".
Catchy boogie woogie intro for the album with Lara providing solid singing with a tinge of Rock-A-Billy in it. Rowe's guitar licks set a standard that is very high and then the tenor sax from Murray round out the sound over a tight rhythm section of Greg and Gonzales. This is a interesting and engaging opening for this album.
*** Track 2. - "Flat Line".
Rowe and Murray wrestle each other with this funky offering that is super tasty. Never once do they stand on each other but rather give space and not so much that the sound becomes predictable and sloppy. Lara's voice has now taken on a more serious feel that is authoritative but passionate. This is a very good Blues offering on a self penned song as are all songs on this album. There is a deft touch and sound with each and every song.
*** Track 3. - "I Wonder".
Pathos laden Blues that gracefully slithers like a tempting snake. Moody and dark Blues that has to be good and this seriously is. Lara draws on every emotion possible to deliver her message. Sensitive well written Blues that allows Rowe to lay down some mighty fine guitar to great effect as Murray weaves in and out reminiscent of smoke from a cigarette.
*** Track 4. - "Wearin' Me Out".
Yeah man here we return to a wild and free spirited Lara channelling the greats of Rock-A-Billy with her pitch and delivery. Added to the stellar sound of Murray and Rowe we are now introduced to Dan Nadasdi for some wonderful keys. This certainly is a collision of sorts between Rock-A-Billy and Texas Blues. Does it work? Simple answer is hell yes as we have one helluva outfit here with masterful writing, singing and band.
*** Track 5. - "T-Dawg".
Lara Germony returns to her femme fatale best with this one as she seductively croons emotionally on this offering. Murray weaves his magic with the saxophone to stunning heights as he is let loose of any constraints but never over plays it. The group certainly know how to write a great song that is so perfect for them and they deliver an effortless seamless feel and sound.
*** Track 6. - Don't Mess With My Baby".
Rowe and Murray set the pace and burn on the R&B tinged offering. Lara again adjusts her sound and intonation to great effect as she effortlessly delivers her vocals with an honest vulnerability that is very engaging. Nadasdi provides the keys that set this one on a wonderful journey.
*** Track 7. - "Love Me Tonight".
Again we have another musical interpretation-al shift in sound as the band introduces a Jazz inspired feel to this Blues. Subtle and engaging with the band providing one very tight offering. Lara again has added another element to her singing and as with other songs there is nothing pushed or strained but rather a stellar performance. From bass to drums to keys to sax to guitar to singer the performance is a tour de force.
*** Track 8 . - "I'm Over It".
Lara teasingly berates her former lover with this R&R inspired offering that harkens back to time/s past. Another complete performance with a song one could easily have thought it was not a "new" song at all. This is indeed a floor filler with the dancers.
*** Track 9. - "Say Goodbye".
Dramatic and brooding sound that allows the band and Lara to explore every inner emotion as she tears at her broken heart. Rowe provides sensual guitar runs as Murray riffs in and out of the background then to have Nadasdi lay down subtle keyboards. Great Blues indeed.
*** Track 10. - "Love Of Mine".
Swingin' shuffler that rolls along sweetly as Lara sings of love and pain over a honky tonk piano from Nadasdi as Murray riffs in what is now an unmistakeable style and sound from his reed.
*** Track 11. - "Shadow Groovin' ".
Lara takes us on an understated minor key exploration of illicit love and ramification. Lara provides vocals that are rather restrained for good effect as Murray wails on guitar to heighten the impact from within the inner shadows of what is right and wrong. Rowe again riffs with abandon on his sax. All in all another solid offering.
*** Track 12. - Howlin' ".
Ahhhhh a delightful venture into N'Awlins and a sassy Lara singing in her very best Mardi Gras voice as she gleefully implores us to get out in the night and have some good ole fun. Nadasdi summons his inner "Professor Longhair or Dr. John with his keys and Murray sounds as though he has played for years with N'Awlins stalwarts The Kermit Ruffins band. This one gave me a hankering for some gumbo and hush puppies.
I have to say l did not know what to expect with this album, l thought that it would be R&R inspired Blues/R&B. Instead what we have is an impeccably constructed album with a stunning lead singer in Lara Germony and band The Bluz Dawgz. Having the conviction to record 12 originals displays to me a band that knows what they are and how they should sound rather than conform to the mainstream. Every song is outstanding and the performance of the band made up of Gregg Germony, Al Rowe, Dan Nadasdi, Ray Gonzales and Reggie Murray is tight, inspiring and so very very good. Lara Germony processes a stunning instrument in her voice, she effortlessly can shift the feel intonation and dramatics as required. From rocking Rock-A-Billy to R&B and always rooted firmly in the Blues she has "that" good a voice. New group to us here in Australia but l feel as though we are going to get very acquainted after hearing this album. Obviously one of Nashville's finest.
Special thanks to Blue Berry for his review of Howlin'. See below...
CD Review – August 2015
Blue Barry – Smoky Mountain Blues Society Hailing from Nashville, Lara & the Bluz Dawgs newest CD “Howling,” is more than that, it’s screaming to be played. Lara Germony has recorded two albums of original R&B songs, and just excels as a vocalist and songwriter. While in college she majored in classical voice performance, but lucky for us has turned to the blues for satisfaction! She is married to Gregg Germony, the bass player, who has toured Europe, Asia, and the Middle East with the Horning Brothers. Gregg has appeared on 1,000’s of demos since moving to Nashville and is the real thing!
Dan Nadasdi plays keyboards and never misses a note! Winning the 2001 CCMA award for Piano Player of the Year, he hasn’t down a bit! He can sure trade off some great licks too!
Al Rowe on guitar is as good as they get. A true blues player. His outstanding guitar work has enabled him to co-write three blues albums and make quite a name for himself in Nashville.
Ray Gonzales on drums has traveled the United States and Europe with quite a few name artists. He started playing drums at age 5, and even recorded his first song at that age!
Reggie Murray on Saxophone is from New Orleans, and he has that instrument in his pocket. It’s in his heart and soul as well. Not only is he a sax player, but also a composer and producer.
You can see by this group of fine musicians there are no weak spots! For a change we have 12 original tunes from slow ballads, to shuffles, to blues killers, to love songs, it’s all here! Tasty, tasty music! I love the guitar work. Never in the way and everyone just compliments everyone else. It is what you would expect from a blues band out of Nashville. These guys are gonna’ make it with or without you.
Lara & The Bluz Dawgs can be found at LARAANDTHEBLUZDAWGZ.COM. Make sure they make it WITH you. Like Lara says….”come out and howl with me tonight.” A very tight group of professional players doing the right thing at the right time. “Howlin’”, well I reckon! Right outta’ music city! Enjoy!
Blue Barry –
Smoky Mountain Blues Society.
Please check out the reviews below of our CD, Devil Moon
Lara & The Bluz Dawgz
Lock Alley Music
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © August 2013
"Devil Moon" is the debut release of the Nashville, TN based band Lara & The Bluz Dawgz. Having members who originally hail from Canada to Louisiana and from New York to New Mexico, you could say their reach spans the country from top to bottom and from left to right. They are: Lara Germony on vocals; Gregg Germony on bass; Dan Nadasdi on keys; Al Rowe on guitar; Ray Gonzales on drums; and Reggie Murray on saxophone. The disc contains all original music with several band members collaborating on some while Mr. & Mrs Germony took part in the lot. Being one who believes that the way to make a blues band better is to add a sax or a keyboard, and since Lara & The Bluz Dawgz did both, I'm looking very forward to doing some listening.
There's nothing like listening to the opening track of a CD and thinking you're hearing everyone already at discs best. Now that's what I call making a good first impression. Lara's smoothly singing her heart out, the guitarist, pianist and saxophonist are lighting up when highlighted and the rhythm guys are wailin' away. "Working Overtime" just told me I'm in for a hell of good listening session.
On "Devil Moon", the discs title track, everyone's still working their masterful magic but they're doing it softer and slower allowing Lara to showcase her lovely voice and magnificent vocal style. This beautiful ballad is a perfect platform for her to display her wonderful range. Very good listening.
When Lara's says "Step On Up", the band doesn't need to be told twice.....especially Al. Fueled by some ferocious rhythm, he becomes some kind of a guitar god and runs away with this one.
I don't think Lara let the band know that the name of this song was "Waitin' On You", 'cause they're not waitin' on anyone. As a matter of fact is sounds like they're having a race and at various times Dan and his piano are in the lead, then Al and his guitar take it and before you know it, it's Reggie and his sax out front. Of course Ray and Gregg are responsible for the wicked pace on the drums and bass but it's Lara who's actually belting out the blues. Phew, this one's a smoker.
I always love when my favorite track on this disc also happens to be the longest track on the disc, and that's the case with "Baby I'm Through With You". Although those are words no one ever wants to hear, the song sure is. This is low down dirty blues as fine as you can find it. With it's deep and moody rhythm, it's smoldering guitar leads and it's melancholic, heartfelt vocals, the blues just doesn't get any better than this. But wait...it does. Those blues filled, high end notes coming from the piano and those sultry and steamy sax highlights take it to a whole other level. Song of the year material, for sure.
Grab a bus, take a car, come from wherever you are. Grab your boat, catch a plane, jump upon a fast track train. This place Is rockin", there ain't, no stoppin', stoppin' us now. You said a mouthful there Lara. "This Place Is Rockin". And it's all because Dan's goin' wild on the piano, Ray's out of his mind on the drums, Gregg's bouncing all over the place on bass and Reggie & Al are dukeing it out on the sax and guitar. Monster track worthy of several replays.
Other tracks on "Devil Moon", this awesome debut effort by Lara & The Bluz Dawgz, include: "Anywhere But There", "Rude Dawg", "Some Kinda Evil", "Corporate Monkey Cage", "Your Stupid Friend", and "Can't Shake You".
If you liked what I had to say as much as I liked saying it, then check out Lara & The Bluz Dawgz at www.laraandthebluzdawgz.com. When you do, please tell her the Blewzzman sent you.
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient
As reviewed by John Mitchell of Blues Blast Magazine, December 2013
Lara & The Bluz Dawgz – Devil Moon
Lock Alley Music
12 tracks; 45 minutes
Lara & The Bluz Dawgz hail from Nashville, Tennessee and I believe this to be their first CD although the individual band members have a collective experience that they bring to bear most effectively on this album. Husband and wife team Gregg and Lara Germony handle bass and vocals respectively and had a hand in writing all the material, some with other band members: Al Rowe on guitar, Dan Nadasdi on keys, Reggie Murray on sax and Ray Gonzales on drums. Gregg also produced the CD.
The material is mainly uptempo with some fine rocking tunes and a few slow blues but also incorporates elements of jazz courtesy of some fine keyboard and sax work from Dan and Reggie. Most of the songs are short and sweet but the band stretches out on the slower “Baby I’m Through With You” with all three front-line instruments taking solos, Dan’s piano standing out.
The album is bookended by two tracks that demonstrate the skills of all the players: opening track “Workin’ Overtime” finds Al in almost country mood on the guitar with both Dan and Reggie also getting solo space; closing track “This Place Is Rockin’” opens with Lara’s laughter and it sounds as if everyone is having fun on this rock and roll number. Dan again lights up the keyboard with sparkling runs on piano and Al gives us a short and nimble solo while Reggie’s sax broods beneath the rhythm, waiting his turn to feature which he does on the outro.
The title track offers a different slant on the band’s talents as Al leads on the melodic cut, Lisa adopting a wistful tone on a sad tale of lost love. “Anywhere But There” is a very strong track (and features if you visit the band’s website), a rocker with great sax at the start and a stinging guitar solo. Lisa sings of her baby leaving her for Memphis, so she will go “anywhere but there” – bad news if they want to compete in the IBCs!
“Step On Up” has lots of tasty guitar as Lisa invites her intended guy to try what’s on offer, Dan switching to organ and Reggie sitting this one out but he is back on “Rude Dawg”, a song about a problem pet: “He grabs your leg and he won’t let go, chews up your shoes, pees on the floor.” Lara sounds unimpressed by office life as she sings of the “Corporate Monkey Cage”; “I don’t have to be good at what I do, I just have to look better than you”, the band offering excellent support throughout. Equally cynical is the put down in “Your Stupid Friend” when Lara sings of her disgust at finding her new guy has another girl in tow!
I hope that I have given readers a fair idea of what to expect from this CD which I thoroughly enjoyed. I recommend that you check out this excellent album of all original material..
Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He had a blast at this year’s Blues Blast Awards and is already planning his next trip stateside.