Rise and Shine is another big step forward for the Kris Lager Band and offered fans a satisfying place to return to. This album proves they really know how to deliver solid blues and rock tunes, but it’s some of the funk and R&B tracks that don’t quite add up. I get it, they want to explore some different tunes and create something unique, but KLB fans know what they want and it’s the blues.
“I Got Love” sustains a prettiness with a roaring opening sax groove that pairs nicely with Lager’s inspiriting vocals. Then it’s back to the blues for the melancholy “Knee High by the 4th of July,” where Lager’s addictive slide riff and Haley Marie’s backing vocals are the special ingredients that make the song superior to its peers. It’s not that familiar blues tune we’ve all witnessed, but something of a higher caliber.
“Love Can Get You By” is a heartfelt tune that you can feel in Lager’s voice. His gentle tone proves his words to be true, “Sometimes you just got to close your eyes/But love can get you by/ Yes, I believe love can get you by.” The song details what it’s like to be on the road chasing down your dreams and finding a reason to keep going.
“Please Don’t Break Me Down” and “Shake It On Down” are the blues tunes we’ve come for. “Shake It On Down” is brilliant. The groovy number displays Lager’s far-out vocals and the top notch quality production of the album.
Lager has had some form of the band touring since he was 17, now 34 his experience has proven him to be a successful songwriter. He says of his writing, “At this point in my life I’ve been in love, I’ve been out of love, I’ve dealt with a lot and I don’t have to make it up anymore.”
In the end KLB offers a sound that few other modern-day bands can offer.