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 Cd Review
"School Of Hard Knocks"
By Bob Silvestri

        Perhaps  you’ve seen the bumper stickers all over town- Hastings – A Real R’nR’ band. Quite a claim for any band, but on the strength of their live shows and their most recent CD titled  School  Of Hard Knocks , Hastings can make that claim.
         Formed in 1997 from past members of the Downtown Rebels and  Hoogie and the Bluesbombers, Hastings have  been honing their skills by relentless live performances. They have already built a strong base in the Southtowns  and now have set their sites on Ohio and Pennsylvania. The band ,made up of Tom Hastings (vocals), Brian Best (guitars), Shane Davis (bass), Randy Barnard (rhythm  guitar) and Kevin Walgate (drums) rocks hard in the tradition of The Black Crowes with a dash of Guns ‘n’ Roses thrown  in for flavor.
        The lyrics written by Tom Hastings tend to deal with lost love, found love and the hopes and dreams for the future that everyone wants. The other members of the band add their talents by writing the music to the lyrics. The ten tracks on the cd follow the traditional rock and roll approach of driving drums and bass with  liberal guitar lines and solos. They also employ the use of keyboards and saxes on selected cuts. In the future this should help to round out and fatten their sound.
        Some of the better tracks on the CD include “When I See  You”, “Into The Night”, “My Best To You” and my personal favorite , the “arena-rock” ballad, “Livin’ Lies”. On this track the very fine guitar work of Brian Best is on display. While Best shines throughout the disc, this track best illustrates the influence of the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan has on his playing. 
       So if you like your headbanging rock with a melodic touch, Hastings is a “Real R’n R’ Band” for you. This CD can be obtained at any of the bands shows or by visiting them at  www.hastingsband.com.

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