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Publication: Syracuse New Times
Author: Bholan, Marissa
Date published: May 25, 2011
Language: English
PMID: 58875
ISSN: 0893844X
Journal code: SYNT

Digger Jones. All Growed Up (Old Boy Records). Sit back, relax, and tap your feet to the catchy tunes of Digger Jones, Central New York's funky southern blues rock trio. All Growed Up, the band's 12-track debut album, highlights the group's edgy and powerful sound.

Digger Jones, formed in 2009, spotlights Cortland County natives Steve "Stiv" Morgan and Chris Merkley and Whitney Point's Chad Dean. Their large sound can be attributed to Morgan on bass and vocals, Merkley on guitar, harmonica and vocals, and Dean on drums. Together, the group combines original blues, rock and funk music into inventive melodies and tops the blend with poetic lyrics.

All Growed Up is about reflecting on the past and trying to find one's place. On "Do You Know," Morgan wholeheartedly sings, "But my how times have changed/ Where has all the fun gone/ Stuck with the ill at ease/ Responsibility and then fidelity even senility." This album centers on transformation.

The tunes vary from slide guitar-driven blues rock to groove-heavy blues funk matched with vocal harmonies. Songwriters Morgan and Merkley wrote six songs and four songs respectively, and co-signed the slow and steady "Dead of the Night" and provocative "Walking into Walls."

The album also features local guest musicians Mark Nanni of Los Blancos on keyboards, AJ Strauss of The Sutras and The Crooners on trumpet, and Jamie Yaman of Mutron Warriors on baritone saxophone.

The album was released by Old Boy Records, a Central New York-based label specializing in original American roots music. For more information about Digger Jones, visit www.oldboyrecords.com.

-MARISSA BHOLAN



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