In 2008, vocalist/songwriter Bruce Ferguson and guitarist/producer/songwriter Bobby Kennedy started writing and recording songs together for a project that would evolve into the formation of The Easy Outs. The duo got to work writing and recording in late 2008 and finished in early 2009.
Six months in the making, with a release on Main Man Records in June of 2009, The Easy Outs’ debut features the single “I Walk Alone” as well as other standout tracks like “Look Away,” “Get Some,” “Ego Trip” and “Sweet Revenge.” Bobby had gone on to other musical projects; it was Bruce Ferguson’s turn to carry the torch of The Easy Outs, and so the story continues.
In 2010, Bruce received a five-song demo from Gar Francis of Bongo Boy Records. Gar suggested picking one song and recording it. The New Jersey rockers did. The single “Come On, Come On” was the one Bruce decided to record. Released in 2010 on Bongo Boy Records, the single hit the jackpot within a month as it was placed on NASCAR TV show on ESPN. With its classic garage sound, it appealed to a lot of fans. The single did very well on radio and received laudatory reviews.
“Band members have come and gone, but in 2013, the current lineup Bruce Ferguson, lead vocals, Steve DeVito, lead guitar, Mikey D, guitar, John DiVuolo, bass, and Ken Stevens on drums was a keeper. These guys are so good,” Ferguson said. Steve and Mike bring these riffs in, and John and Kenny run with it. John and Kenny play on three new tracks for the new album.
Desolate Row will be released this month. It is street rock at its best. The album also features guest Kurt Reil of The Grip Weeds on drums and the man who produced the album at the House of Vibes in Highland Park, NJ. Ex-Secret Syde and new Grip Weed bassist Dave Desantis plays on half of the album along with ex-Secret Syde drummer Rob Angello. Kenny Aaronson (Joan Jett, New York Dolls and Rick Derringer) is playing on a few of the tracks also.
Starting things off is “Shake That Thing.” Vocalist Bruce Ferguson tears into the tune in the wicked vein of the late Stiv Bators. Drummer Ken Stevens sets the tone as the band fires down the middle. Guitarist Steve DeVito lays down solid slide work as Mikey D and Kenny Aaronson provide the muscle. This is down and dirty rock and roll at its finest.
“Good Ole Days” is up next and brings back those raucous times of the ’70s. Once again Steve DeVito screams on guitar. Ferguson reminisces about the days of New York’s heyday. LPs, clubs and real bands are the forefront on this song and it’s all good. Bruce sings about “good-looking clothes and long, long hair.”
The disc namesake is up next. “Desolate Row” lays down riff-fired rock and wild lyrics galore. Ferguson waxes poetic about all things rock. Drugs, booze and sex permeate the tune. DeVito throws out a wicked middle-eight lead as Mikey D shores up the rhythm like clockwork. Kurt Reil assists with backing vocals and helps make this tune a top pick.
“Skin To The Bone” also features Reil on drums, guitar, and percussion and background vocals. You can hear Reil’s imprint on this disc and its good stuff. DeVito lays down good ole’ fashioned Cheetah Chrome/Chuck Berry licks like no one else. Ferguson’s voice is strong throughout.
“Noreese” comes out of the player like anything that The Godfathers could ever do. Utilizing tight verses and huge choruses, The Easy Outs show fans why they own their genre. Guitars, bass and drums are dead on and full of life on “Noreese.”
“Come On, Come On” is a song written by none other than Gar Francis from Bongo Boy Records. Gar plays lead guitar, Mellotron Sax and organ on the disc. He is joined by Gage Rowley on bass and Kristen Pinell on vocal assist. Reil is back on drums, keyboards and vocals, along with the band. This is rock pop at its finest. Ferguson steers this Francis composition well, mixing sharp vocals with guitars galore.
If you dig The Monkees and The Dave Clark Five, you’re going to love “Mud Runner.” Drummer Ken Stevens drives this vocal heavy number straight down the 1960s highway as DeVito tears into the heart of the tune. John DiVuolo supplies heavy bottom end to this top-shelf tune.
“Can’t Remember A Thing” is up next. Based off of an old and reliable formula, “Can’t Remember A Thing” is fairly predictable if not flat-out fun. Lyrically speaking, it covers the age-old topic of that girl that comes out of nowhere. Ferguson is believable as hell as he tries to remember just what he was doing with her in the first place. DeVito and Mikey hold down the fort in a most agreeable way.
Skipping around the disc, I came to a song called “Perfume Girl.” Written by Dave DeSantis, “Perfume Girl” is yet another Reil highlight when it comes to production. Vocals are full of fire and larger than life. Topping out at an easy 3:03, Ferguson wastes no time at getting into the meat of the matter. Once again DeVito plays what he needs to and not a note more. This song also features Rob Angello from Secret Syde on drums, The Blases, Christian Beach and many other great bands.
The disc closes with “Gotta Get Away From Jane.” Once again Ferguson covers the bases of that Jersey girl who is probably no good for anyone she meets. DiVuolo and Stevens are back on bass and drums as is Reil on guitar and percussion. DeVito tears up the bridge before returning to support along with Mikey D.
The Easy Outs score well above the mark with Desolate Row. Combining basic, raw rock with production savvy and a smart choice of guest performers, Desolate Row is a disc you’ll want to experience for yourself. The Easy Outs are playing several upcoming shows, and you’ll be able to grab this disc online or in person.
To find out all about The Easy Outs and Desolate Row, head over to mainmanrecords.com or theeasyouts.com.