Mike Therieau

Channeling the ghosts of Muscle Shoals, Mike Therieau makes an impressive debut.

The most exciting moments of Mike Therieau's debut collection come when the Oakland-based singer -- a vet of The Loved Ones and Dave Gleason's Wasted Days -- channels the ghosts of Muscle Shoals and goes for the throat. On the opener, a Saturday-night number called "Wear You Off My Mind," Therieau tears loose in the final chorus, his voice fraying at the edges of the tune's hard-luck sentiment. The songs that follow draw from the same well of country-touched '70s soul and rock (think white genre blenders like Eddie Hinton, Delbert McClinton and early Seger), but Therieau sounds most at home strutting to a mid-tempo grind. With the sweaty howl of "Midnight Apt. #9 Blues" and falsetto confession of "I'm Sorry," Therieau's all guts. And by the time the record spins out to the wail of "Creeping Round," he proves to be more than a diligent student of the classics that have inspired him; he's pretty damn inspiring himself.

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