Teresa Storch Band “Open Your Heart”

Independent, 2024

Strong new album from duo who love jamming.

The unmistakeable music category of the ‘jam band’ is definitely rooted in American music. Bands like Big Head Todd and the Monsters, The Dave Matthews Band, Phish and The Allman Brothers Band are incredibly popular across the pond – but their impact in the UK is more modest. But the meeting of the musical minds of two artists from the Boston area happened due to a love of these jam bands. Teresa Storch was a jobbing New England troubadour and Peter Lacis had been playing in a range of jam/funk/prog/pop bands. They met in 2013 and developed a musical synergy that was so strong they are now partners personally as well as musically.

Inevitably lockdown had a big impact on their musical development and this new album is a fantastic demonstration of what they’ve achieved in those intervening years. This is a really solid collection of powerful, punchy, rocky Americana.

The opener ‘Things Will Get Better’ is a belter – a happy, joyous sing-a-long track, which if you watch the video alone will put a smile on your face. It’s about the positivity of music and features some brilliant hand clapping (yes hand clapping can be brilliant), superb guitar playing, really effective horns and some lovely sax work at the end. Do watch the video, as the longer version is definitely the best. What an opener.

One can tell where the love of jamming comes from in the next track ‘Open Your Heart’ which starts out as a soul groove tune and expands into a guitar jam fest. ‘Feels So Good’ is a punchy rocker with a great catchy tune – and Storch’s strong vocals are to the fore with some superb backup vocals from band members.

This Is The Time’ is another powerful and positive tune with an empowering song about making the most of the now – Storch’s vocals have more than a feel of the Joan Osborne power – no bad thing at all. ‘Time To Go’ continues the wonderful optimism this album imbues with, having an acoustic start that blossoms out into another sing a long rocking tune about personal positivity with the closing lyrics of ‘there’s nothing to be scared of’ resonating with the listener long after the song has finished.

The band Storch and Lacis have assembled here are superb – Chad E Mathis (bass guitar); Travis Moberg (drums); Tony Dickinson (guitars/keyboards) as well as Eli Bishop, Kevin Lufkin; Robbie Benson, Christopher Wright; Jordan Skomal and Chris Ruiz on various instruments.

This is a really solid collection of classy tunes from a sterling band – Storch and Lacis will be definitely worth looking out for further in the future.


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