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Ed Maly - "Best Kept Secrets " (Hot Texas Tunes)

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Band Site: www.edmaly.com
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After reviewing Ed's previous effort, "Walking Shoes Blues" I can say that the man has done it again! I have in my hands Ed Maly's 2008 release, "Best Kept Secrets". The CD opens with an organic sounding cover of "C.C.Rider", which although being a very convincing performance suffers from a buzzy steel string guitar sound that dominates the mix. The song features some great trade off licks between Ed Maly on lead guitar and Darren Ross on keyboards. Up at number two is "Matilda", a cover of Cookie and the Cupcakes'. Ed and the band lock up really well on this one and deliver a bit of a raw jam feel than gives this one an added kick. Again - some great performances by all. "Barefootin'" is yet another cover that the guys do well. The performance captures an old school feel that brings one back in the days of analog recordings and bands playing live, very well done! After opening with 3 quick covers, Ed & band jump into the originals. First up is Ed's collaboration with Craig Davis - "Bungalow 9". The song is a classic slow blues, somewhat reminiscent of Gary Moore's "Still Got the Blues". The song features some sublime understated guitar licks and a totally killer piano track. Next up is "Mr. Ed" which is somewhat a comical tune about people confusing Ed with the horse in the 50's TV show. I can't say that I am ecstatic about the lyrical idea on this one, but it groves just as well. At number 6 is the song that steals the show - "Give Me Back My Rib", a somewhat comical take on the biblical tale of Adam and Eve and Adam's first wife, Lilith, that he rejected because she always wanted to be on top. The lyrics definitely brought in some chuckles, and Ed really hits gold with the relationship advice: "...in this world man has a choice, Fight with the woman or save his voice, Let her win; give in". Very well crafted lyrics and a great performance, definitely my favorite on the record. Next up is a Sonny Williamson cover, "Don't Start Me Talking" that Ed & band do very well. "Tear a Honky Tonk Apart" is a country tune where Ed & band show that they are well versed in that genre as well. "Best Kept Secret", the album title track at number 9 is somewhat a hit and miss for me. I felt that the backup vocals didn't quite stand up to par with the rest of the production, a good tune but it could've used more polish. "Hound Dog Cat" is a well done southern rocker, with some wonderful piano and harmonica performances. "Howling", the CD closer picks up the pace. On this song I felt that Ed was out of his element and the vocals didn't quite seem to sit well with the song. Overall - I can say that Ed has done it yet again! This album will definitely have you grooving and enjoying yourself. It has a wonderful assortment of tunes with some sizzling performances by some very talented Texas musicians. Compared to his previous effort I felt that this CD could've used a few more hours of studio time, as the change of rhythm sections was reflected in the production, thus affecting the overall flow of the album.

Reviewed by A. Dorian

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