Blues Control

Valley Tangents (Drag City)

Contact Jessica Linker about Blues Control

There’s a new muse at the house of Blues Control. Yes, mother nature! Now located in the Woodstock of east PA, Lehigh Valley, Blues Control conceivedValley Tangents far from the madding crowds that they’d previous swarmed with and composed among. Could this be the reason for the homegrown, natural feel of the music, with the metronomical hissing of summer mosquito-bots behind their signature Debussy via Guaraldi qua Bley qua Hornsby pianisms, and the playful juxtapositions of a full spectrum of rock colors: stadium, industrial, psych and prog (to name just a few)?


And yet, Blues Control’s shape-shifting qualities could lead us to type them as a mystic lounge act, with spacey guitar leads, a clarion synth and the punch of real drums. Only to suddenly discover they were instead playing inside a world music bag, wrapping their mellow drug-mospheres around a crisp keyboard center, evoking heat and nature with waves radiating from seemingly formal western scales! The exotic and the classical, wedded together with a freedom the old masters couldn’t imagine. Of course, man has always yearned to smoke the grass on the other side of his society’s fence – like McCartney in the jungle playing his staid English beats while running through ebony and ivory scales, Blues Control are liable to superimpose the British blues over new waves just to feel the juice run down their legs. Upon hearing Valley Tangents, long-time listeners will surely attest that the band are increasingly capable of anything in the spectrum that they feel should be integrated.


So yeah – back in 2009, after Local Flavor blossomed, Russ and Lea left their Queens aerie in NYC (their launch pad of many years) and knocked around back east a bit, eventually finding themselves in a house in Coopersburg, PA. This is where the song “Open Air” was documented, adding an element of found- and field recorded music to Valley Tangents. The rest of the album was laid down at Black Dirt (a nexus for many Blues Control recordings to date). As with each of their earlier efforts, Valley Tangents is a full (r)evolution ahead of what came before, at times an unrecognizable new blend of sounds to call Blues Control. Closer listens will bring into focus the continuities that make the band who they are and have been. It ultimately doesn’t matter where on earth this was conceived and laid down and mixed, it came from two minds alone, and nobody else but Blues Control are in control of doing it quite like this.