Former Veil of Ashes vocalist Sean Doty fronting the 77’s as a powerhouse backing band: what could possibly go wrong?
Well, musically, not much. But logistically it turned out to be a non-starter. Originally released a few years back under the non-descript, tongue-in-cheek project name “Unveiled” (get it?), the album has now been made available again through CD Baby. With the title reshuffled as Unveiled presented by Sean Doty & the 77’s, the project and the listener may finally find each other on common ground.
If you are, at this point, confused by how this could even be possible, it is important to remind people that in various configurations of Dead Artist Syndrome, it was The Sevens backing up Brian Healy (bringing to mind specifically the untouchable “Young, Sexy and Dead” from Happy Hour), and lead guitarist/vocalist Mike Roe spent many years as an offshoot of his band as 7&7iS, backed with members of Bourgeois Tagg and Charlie Peacock’s bands. This is not an unprecedented occurrence.
Unveiled is a good match for the two parties involved. Doty fits right in with the “roll the tape and play the song” ethic, with clear and professional production on hand, but without a fusillade of overdubs bogging things down. A canny mix of covers and originals, Unveiled offers up a blend of southern influence (a honky-tonkin’ “Jesus Drove A Cadillac”), slightly dirge-y blues (“Forgive Me”), a bit of punky energy (“My Town”), a dash of controversy (The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil”).
The opening tune, strangely, sounds like neither of the two component parts. Covering Barry McGuire’s deathless protest song “Eve Of Destruction” Doty lets forth with a raspy growl, and The Sevens rip with a Byrds-ian flair. The combo reminded me a lot of some of the solo work Mike Scott released away from The Waterboys. That’s not a negative thing to say about anyone.
Finally available with everyone able to take their bows, Unveiled by Sean Doty & the 77’s is a release any fan of either artist shouldn’t be without.
You can find this album at CD Baby by clicking here.