In 2009, a combo of highly respected Western Australian musicians came together to have some fun playing no-frills boogie rock n’ roll in pubs around Perth and Fremantle. But it was a yearning by leader Dom Mariani to get back to his early influences that formed the foundation of the band.
“Blessed is the Boogie” is ten new songs that build on Datura4’s ‘guitars to infinity’ approach of “Hairy Mountain” (2016) and the hard rocking, progressive blues and psychedelic stylings of debut LP “Demon Blues” (2015). Both albums were released through Alive NaturalSound Records and gained critical acclaim at home, in Europe and the USA.
Mostly recorded in a studio farmhouse south of their home town of Fremantle, “Blessed is the Boogie” takes Datura4 a few swaggering steps further. Mariani continues his successful collaboration with bass player Stu Loasby (The Majestic Kelp) and drummer Warren “Wazza” Hall, the original drummer for The Drones. Upping the legend quotient on the record are long-time friends and Australian music stalwarts Bob Patient (Fatty Lumpkin) on keys and Howie Smallman (the Jaywalkers) on harmonica.
“People on the street – You got to get ready”
Kicking off with the pummelling drums and heavy riffage of ‘Black Dog Keep Running’, Datura4’s mission statement is clear: a rucksack full of boogie-sharp, heavy psychedelic rock plugged into and spewing forth from vintage amps. The title track follows, with its incessant groove and wailing harmonica and slide guitar. It’s a personal invitation from the band to get up off your seats and rock-steady. The hard rocking riffage of ‘Looper’ complements a self-loathing commentary, while ‘Run with Lucy’, fuelled by rollicking slide guitar and a chorus heavy on hooks, is an observation on a world dominated by the current crop of crazies. Their take on the R&B classic ‘Oop Pooh Pah Do’ comes thundering through on a heavy wave of riffs, as newcomer Bob Patient cuts loose on the B3. Patient’s keyboard also adds a far-out new dimension to the album on heart felt tracks Not for Me’ and ‘Cat on A Roof’.
“Get up on your feet – We’re rockin’ steady”
Dom Mariani came to prominence on the music scene in the 1980s with legendary garage rock combo The Stems who released a string of now classic singles that topped the alternative music charts, culminating in the release of their debut album “At First Sight…Violets Are Blue”. Mariani later went on to form revered power pop outfits DM3 and The Someloves, where his knack for writing infectious melodies gained him respect and a well deserved reputation on the international scene.
Growing up in the isolated port town of Fremantle in the 1970s on Australia’s west coast, Mariani was a budding guitar player who worshipped the Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival. As music trends evolved, he found himself deep in Australia’s burgeoning pub rock scene, thanks to hard rocking local groups like The Aztecs, The Coloured Balls, The Masters Apprentices, Daddy Cool and Carson. At his first ever rock concert he witnessed The Coloured Balls and Sitting Bull, two bands that would spark his interest in the heavy sounds of rock and blues guitar. Sitting Bull were local heroes that would eventually play at Dom’s high-school social. This, along with a music/art program GTK which aired each week day for 5 minutes at 6:30pm on the ABC that offered many of the great bands of the day nationwide exposure – set Mariani on a journey of blues and heads-down, full-tilt boogie discovery.
Datura4 debutants Bob Patient and Howie Smallman are connections to that period of Perth music for Mariani. Patient and Smallman each have weighty musical credentials, and a shared history of the psyched-out stomp of 1970’s Australian rock ’n’ roll.
“Blessed is the Boogie” wouldn’t be complete without a spooky guitar story. The guitar Mariani uses on most of the record is a ’69 Black Les Paul, previously owned by one of his early heroes: the late and much revered Sitting Bull guitarist Paul Felton. Unsubstantiated rumour also has it that this magic axe might once have been owned by the frontman of the legendary Daddy Cool. Fitting, then, that the driving, original guitar sound on “Blessed is the Boogie” has echoes throughout the rebellious formative years of Australian blues rock.
Datura4 are stoked to share with you this new collection of songs.
“Boom boom boom boom – Blessed is the Boogie”
Since their inception DATURA4 have established an impressive live reputation and have also had the honour of opening up for the legendary ZZ Top, New Zealand guitar legend Kevin Borich, Endless Boogie, Tumbleweed, X and You Am I. here’s what the critics have to say;
‘Demon Blues’: blowing the minds of rock critics, one metaphor at a time
“These songs evoke a time in music history when rock was getting really loud…at the molten core of each is a chorus or riff that won’t let go…” The Australian
“Rocks so hard that if you are blasting it out of your car windows, you won’t even care if someone in a neighbouring car catches you headbanging…” examiner.com US
“At the molten core of each is a chorus or riff that won’t let go… as psyched out, louder-than-Sabbath blues…” The Blues Magazine issue 22, BB King tribute edition UK.
“It’ll grab you like a Torana driver’s handshake in the days before power steering.” i-94bar
“A defining boogie, a heavy footstomp of swagger” Rolling Stone Australia
“The quartet dives into a mess of psychedelic blues, filled to the gills with fuzzed up guitars and sturdy songwriting 4 stars” Weekend Australian
“They’re a rock’n’roll marriage made in heaven 4.5 stars” The Sydney Morning Herald Short list
“Ball-busting Oz proto heavy rock…heartfelt psychedelicised blues-rock for the denim-clad delinquent in us all” Shindig Magazine UK
“A way smokin’ slab of psyched ‘n’ furious jams, powered by amped up to 11 guitars and straight up boogaloo” 9/10 Vive le Rock UK
“A spirit of early psychedelia breathes anew in the words and sounds of this Aussie four-piece 4 stars” Roots Music report US
“Datura4 have taken all that is good about the shrieking pounding and sonically proceeded them. A great find for Alive Naturalsound, and a better one for you” Dave DiMartino, Executive editor of Yahoo Music US.