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Music Review - `Driven` by Artie Tobia (bm)

Artie Tobia - Driven  (click on image to watch video)

 21 February 2019



 Artie Tobia’s genre-defiant mix of blues, jazz and swampy rock ‘n’ roll sounds more like something from Capricorn Records’ heyday down in Macon, Ga. than anything outsiders might expect to hear in his home state of New York.

His fourth solo album Driven allows listeners to take home the most dynamic musician from the neighborhood’s most prestigious venue for a nonstop ride through the creative mind of a hidden Americana treasure.

Beyond his grasp of multiple genres as an instrumentalist, Tobia is an equally dynamic lyricist. Opening track “Black Mustang” sounds like a cross between Heartland singer-songwriter storytelling and a jazz-infused Allman Brothers Band jam. It fades into “Free Angel,” a workman-like, country-inspired story-song. Despite its title, “Cowboy on a Train” sounds more like something you’d hear at a local blues joint, not at a line dance.

That’s just a snapshot of the first three tracks off an eclectic album. From there, there’s never a dull moment amid such tracks as the sparse and soulful “Heart Beats Still,” the Laurel Canyon peyote experiment went wrong “Ghosts of Carolina” and front porch picking session “Lucky Charm.”

Overall, the album reminds us that Americana isn’t just for castaways in cowboy shirts, shunned by commercial radio. It offers multi-talented artists like Tobia a platform to be heard while exploring decades’ worth of American music lore without sticking to a specific style or worrying about playing the major label game.  


Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore








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