The Truth Doesn 't Really Hurt Here

The Whole Truth (Severn)
Darrell Nulisch

By jeff Kallman

Here is a rather pleasant hybrid of blues and blue-eyed soul from a Washington, D.C.- area performer who seems to have nothing to prove except throwing down the groove and letting it ride. Maybe Darrell Nulisch will not be the Next Big Thing, but you could do a lot worse (and probably have) than to spend a little time with him.

In his favor especially are a band which sets him both a firm pulse and a wide sonic range — soul-style drummer Robb Stupka, organist Benjie Porecki, and bassist Steve Gomes take care of that with aplomb. They sound as though they learned from the Muscle Shoals gang with just a dash of the Band thrown in (Porecki sounds at least as much a student of Garth Hudson as of Barry Beckett). Guitarist Jon Moeller is a model of taste and restraint. All of which they seem to pick up from their leader, who is more concerned with feeling than with the Big Show.

And Nulisch has a pleasant if occasionally parched voice, in hand with a pleasingly dry harmonica style. He has songwriting potential -- "Stop Thinking Take (Start Thinking Give)" is a cut above most of what is now passing for blues songwriting, even if the lyric seems to lose its path for a moment. "There It ls" and "At-Cha-Mama-Nims" are even better, the former a nice, easy grooving soul ballad, the latter a chunky blues strider with a hooky harmonica lead-off, a slicingly tasteful guitar turn, and an oddly affecting, back-mixed piano break which has a nice barrelhouse-worn feel in the notes.

If Darrell and the boys build on this and lock into a consistent blues and soul groove, resisting all other temptations, they could make a nice career for themselves. They'll not necessarily become superstars, but I would bet on them becoming one of those outfits whom people remember and return to long after the superstars' shine is blown off.