GARY HARVEY AND THE NIGHT OWLS: For What It's Worth
By Tony Parker
Singer/songwriter/bassist Gary Harvey is a bit of a legend in local blues circles and together with his band The Night Owls he treads a blues/rock path that has seen them become live favourites on the Auckland pub scene. Featuring Harvey originals and some judiciously chosen covers (Skynyrd, Los Lobos, Otis Rush, Dann Penn), this new album has an authentic, if highly derivative, Texas blues feel to it - bourbon soaked and with the ghost of Stevie Ray Vaughan hovering nearby. The Night Owls are a tight unit and have translated the energy and straight ahead delivery of their live sound into the studio fairly successfully. Harvey's vocals are suitably road worn and throaty while the twin guitars of Tony Abbott and Brent Wintle provide soaring leads and right on the button Texas rhythms. Harvey's originals feature the usual blues suspects of woman, drinking and travelling down that road, often in the same song, and while not entirely original in their formation or lyrical content, are certainly authentic enough to provide the perfect backdrop for a night out in that roadhouse bar somewhere.