North Tonawanda, NY
November 16, 2016
Nearly six years to the date, Sully Erna is back with his 2nd solo album. The Godsmack vocalist released the somewhat stripped down disc, Hometown Life, on September 30. This effort is slightly different than the previous one. Where Avalon has a more worldly-earthy vibe, Hometown Life is more of a straightforward acoustic overtone. The lyrics this time are more about growth and discovery, personal assessment if you will. However, if you listen close there are also messages. In the song, “Beat of My Own Drum” Erna, who comes from a long line of musicians, offers up motivation to others like himself, living life on their own terms.
“Dont Comfort Me” is an example that gives one cause for melancholy, yet it too is an example of reflection. In polar contrast to those lyrics, there is “Blue Skies”, Sully sings about a person, who upon reflection, asks for help with emotional problems and who he has become due to suffering with them. “Forever my Infinity” is a straightforward love song, complete with duet from Lisa Guyer. Guyer is no stranger to fans of Erna’s solo work, the pair work incredibly well together. You can hear her backing vocals sprinkled throughout this effort, much like his last. She helps add a hint of that Avalon sound in “Father of Time”.
A few songs almost have a slight country vibe, but just when you think you have it figured out, there is “Turn it Up!” and you cant help but snap your fingers to the jazzy bluesy tune. Being raised on blues and jazz definitely inspired Sully, the kinship is obvious from Godsmack to his solo endeavours.
This album is not a Godsmack album, yet the power behind the vocals has the same intensity and emotion. You can not help but wonder if these were songs written from deep within Erna’s soul. Sometimes there are albums turned out for the sake of putting together a disc, then there is Hometown Life.
Sully Erna and his band are heading out on a 4 week tour, in support of Hometown Life, this fall. He will be making a stop at, what seems to be one of his favorite western New York venues to play, The Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, on November 16. Hurry and grab your tickets, before its too late and while your out, pick up a copy of Hometown Life.