Monkey Brain is a guitar tour de force, a gritty mash-up of the history of roots guitar music torn down and built back up again. The title track is a grimy ode to our inner, more basic impulses: “When life gets to me. My head starts to change. I give in to my Monkey Brain”. On the swampy “Charity Case”, Pinchin pleads with his lover: “Why do you treat me like some charity case? It’s not your business if I’m sober or straight”. “Hard Luck” is a 21st-century gospel dirge that features searing lead guitar crescendo with a one-note Neil Young-style squeal into it’s signature riff with layered gospel harmonies pleading wordlessly over deep piano drones. “Living In The Past” eases us in with Pinchin’s unmistakable falsetto before the album’s engine room, Adam Warner on drums & Mark McIntyre on bass, launch into its signature groove. Pinchin’s guitar weaves in and out and Emma-Lee’s backing vocals push the whole thing over the top. The album takes a turn with “Goin’ Hobo”, co-written with JUNO Award winner Steve Strongman, adds junk-yard percussion and tongue-in-cheek lyrics about being sick of the grind and packing it all in for the hobo life. The album closes with the duo of “Monsters”, an acoustic stomper keeping with the theme of fighting one’s own demons and “Get Burned”, more evidence of Pinchin’s guitar prowess; pivoting effortlessly between clean sinewy playing and ultra-dirty riffmongering. Throughout the album, Sean Pinchin delivers stories of personal struggle and triumph after living with depression for many years. Realizing that his grief could be put to constructive use, he began writing about everything that caused him pain, fear and heartache. Monkey Brain is his blues and he comes by it honestly.
Tony D is a staple in Ottawa’s blues music scene. Although these days he is kept busy touring with the JUNO winning band MonkeyJunk, when he’s home, Tony D brings out his larger blues band and ROCKS the RAINBOW.