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Music Review - `The SideMen` by Nick Justice & Fetter Martin Homer(lz)

Nick Justice-& Fetter Martin Homer- The SideMen   (click on image to watch)

 31 May 2022



The SideMen, the initial offering from a new partnership that teams veteran singer/songwriters Nick Justice and Peter Martin Homer, clearly has a high bar to meet, given the accomplishments of its two primary principals. Homer has achieved exceptional marks as much-in demand a blues guitarist, while Justice made his name in a number of bands, while also sharing stages with several notables — INXS, Eric Johnson, The Radiators, The Blasters, X, the Bodeans, and The Del Fuegos, among them. Given the fact that both men share an affinity for the blues and call Southern California home, their union could have been considered inevitable.

Of course, mutual admiration for a particular genre and common environs are no guarantee of musical compatibility, no matter how promising the prospects may appear early on. Consequently, it’s all the more fortuitous to hear these two musicians sharing their songs in sync. That mutual penchant for blues is supplemented for the most part by a laid back folk finesse that finds the opening offerings “Come Dance With Me” and “This Storm Shall Pass Away” as easy and assuring an introduction as one might ever wish to hear. The gentle pluck and ramble of “Meet the Train,” the unassuming insistence of  “Light As An Angel” and the sweet sway of “Lady of the Roses” maintain that affable approach, conveying a sense of instant engagement. 

Between the two of them, the pair play the vast majority of the instruments, with only occasional assistance from outside contributors — Gabe Witcher on fiddle, Alan Deremo playing upright bass and producer Richard Bredice making a cameo appearance on organ. As a result, the duo’s close-knit harmonies and shared sensitivity provide the impetus for that engaging embrace and a tender touch that never once falters throughout. One might easily imagine these sweet serenades played around an open fire or in a back porch environment that offers no separation between artist and audience. “Let’s Get Out of Here” conveys that close connection to maximum effect, providing the erstwhile invitation its title implies, one that’s all but impossible to resist. Even the mournful ache of “Virginia” manages to convey a similar spell

So goes this excellent album overall, indication that Justice and Homer are not only well in sync, but inevitably committed to making music that binds heart and happenstance. One can only hope that another joint effort follows soon. 


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman

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