Teeth and Bones
Self-released Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter John Fohl has torn away all unnecessary elements and cut his music down to the Teeth and Bones. Fohl does a fantastic job of creating variety without straying too far from his swamp-rock, bayou juke joint roots. The album also includes lots of great guests, including Johnny Sansone, whose soulful harmonica plays prominently on the opening track “Ice Water”. There’s nothing bland about this song, however; John Fohl plays a juicy swamp rock solo. “Show Me Your Ugly Side” has the rhythm of an old blues song. Sansone’s harmonica is rocking throughout the song without ceasin, while Fohl’s guitar plays the antiquated melody. The only other instrument is the congo drums by Uganda Roberts to make the backbone of the song. “Do or Die” is more infl uenced by 1960s folk music; the melody sounds sweet played by an acoustic guitar and Ron Hodges’s accordion. “Angel in Disguise” could be a companion song to Elvis Presley’s “Devil in Disguise”. Fohl sings in his gruff and expressive voice to the woman who broke his heart: “You’re an angel underneath your devil eyes.” This song is not as rollicking as Presley’s; Fohl opts for a minimal sound with just one jaunty acoustic guitar, his voice, and the harmonizing voice of Susan Cowsill. “Mountain of Gold,” however, is not so minimal. The band is full and the sound is rich, and the following song “Vera’s Lament” is just as full, but with a darker tone. Joe Cabral plays an edgy riff on his saxophone and Fohl’s distorted guitar cuts through the music like a jagged knife. Some songs on Teeth and Bones are good for slow dancing and romancing, while others are best for boot-stomping and rocking.