MICHELLE ROCKING HORSE GARCIA – DEAD END STREET – SALSA & CHIPS PUBLISHING
When I last ventured into the mystic sounds of Michelle Garcia, it was 2008 and her release “San Francisco Queers” was capturing my attention. In researching her background, I found that most of her previous efforts were in the vein of folk based rock. “Queers” was an exploratory and divulging venture for this artist, as she dabbled into the pop world with a slice of humor based on experiences that felt very close to home.
“Dead End Street” is a return to where I feel Michelle is most relaxed and expressive. Easily transferred to a live setting the 12 tracks to be had on “Dead End Street” reach out desperately to be heard, outside of their studio recordings. I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn‰t a live recording in the works covering some of the choice selections found here, along with some of her personal favorites.
The ‘Rocking Horse’ sound is an interesting mix of folk, tropical rhythms, adding a delivery that hints at Frank Zappa enveloped with a jam session on several songs that compels thoughts of the Grateful Dead.
As a songwriter Garcia is at best complicated and that is the key to her uniqueness. The contrast of laid back and primal delivery in vocals, gives the listener a storytelling feel, which is complimented well in these musical moments of exposure.
The jam session quality plays a huge role in the “Dead End Street” project. Fans of Phish or Government Mule may wish to take a ride on the Rocking Horse as they will find some of the intricate breaks and jumps in style to their liking.
I interestingly found a Carlos Santana feel on “It Comes To This” and “Fate of Man.” Carefree liberties are also initiated on the opener “Crisis on the Shore” and the closing title track “Dead End Street,” which would also be a joy with a high tech dance treatment. Just my wishful thinking there folks.
I myself live on a dead end street and it‰s not that bad. There‰s only one way in and one way out. Yourself and a selected few rule this domain. Once in awhile someone lets you in, as Michelle ‘Rocking Horse’ Garcia has done this time around, and the trip can be surprising.