Produced by Tommy Marsh, Dan Grimm and Tammy Mosby – Plano Road Publishing ASCAP
Reviewed by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine
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Crooked Eye Tommy erupted on the Southern California Blues scene in 2013 and has been rockin ever since with the exuberance and zeal the California Coast is known for, a love of music and a love of life. Crooked Eye Tommy has the distinction of not only being Semi-Finalists in the 2014 International Blues Challenge of Memphis Tennessee, but also won the Santa Barbara Blues Society Band Challenge. A close knit group of seasoned performers, Crooked Eye Tommy are, as they see it, Tommy Marsh- Head Lion Tamer and Ocular Alignment Specialist Paddy Marsh- Guitar Vocals and BAD ASS NESS Jimmy Calire- HOLY TOLEDO on The HAMMOND ORGAN & SAX GLADE "Boom Boom" Rasmussen - Bass Guitar a GOGO Tony Cicero- Resident skin slapper and Drum Magician. As you can tell, they come from the old road of musical genius.
In regards to the album, Butterflies and Snakes has the sound of the coast, flowing tones and rhythms steeped in Blues / Funk combinations, Jazzy overtones, solid lyrics and reminds me of the stone grooves that were prevalent in the late 60’s / early 70’s Blues – Rock Explosion that fueled bands like Blind Faith, Marshall Tucker, Grateful Dead and others. These hometown heroes of Ventura California have a serious side, “Serious Fun” and they show it on this album and on stage, their live performances have been heavily touted in the music press as being the “First stop on the endless highway of fun”, and in my opinion, the industry could learn a thing or two of what real talent is when listening to Crooked Eye Tommy Butterflies and Snakes.
Butterflies and Snakes, a collection of all original blues tracks, written by Tommy Marsh and powered by an ensemble of master musicians, gets your heart racing and your feet moving, the songs range from somber to celebratory and each features several of the blues styles in each track, never dry or “done before” each is unique when compared to the other album tracks and every song could be a number one hit, but being a hit does not strike me as Crooked Eye Tommy’s goal, but to be, just be the best you could see in a close quarter, crowded smokey dance hall with dance card one hand and a bourbon in the other.
Tracks like Come on In, I Stole The Blues, Tide Pool, After the Burn, Mad and Disgusted and others on this album have brass that is to be admired and respected, as well as the feeling that these men have cut their teeth on the best and the worst that life had to offer, but bit back hard. In the words of Tommy Marsh, “Come on In, You’re always welcome here, Make yourself at Home” among the Butterflies and Snakes.