Houston's most prominent blues-rock power trio -- now consisting of singer-guitarist Orq, bassist Jessica Will and new drummer Matt Johnson -- hopes that their new CD can break them beyond regional stages. After spending three years playing for the Tony Vega Band, Orq fired up his own act, the Mighty Orq. First came 2002's all-acoustic Prayer Book, and then last year's full-band debut effort, Ghost Train. And though the sound of Orq's trio is most often compared to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan, their more rock-edge sound is actually more reminiscent of Austin's newly reunited Arc Angels, as Orq's gruff baritone is eerily reminiscent of that of Doyle Bramhall II and much of their music is in a similar vein. Their new Milk Money finds the group straddling genres from out-and-out rockers ("Devil at Your Back," "Unholy Getdown"), swamp blues ("Sweet In Between"), laid-back grooves ("Carry Me Home," "She Lets Me Lie") and even a radio-friendly possible hit ("Weak Ender"). Monsieur Orq and Co. are not as effective on the slower-tempoed songs and ballads such as "Heaven Sent" and "Long Gone," but there's enough good stuff on Milk Money to make you save up yours to buy it.
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