Gig Seeker Pro


Detroit, MI | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Detroit, MI
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Blues Gothic




"No Depression"

David Boone’s new album under the banner Alberta, MMMMM, definitely boasts a sound unlike anything else you’ll hear this year and this gives him an immediately signature style wise for an indie release like this. There’s a combination of intimacy and distance coming through the album opener “Outta My Head” that Alberta sustains over the course of eleven songs that’s difficult to accurately describe. The songs deal with thorny emotions and face them head on through the music, lyrics, and gripping vocals, but those qualities are immersed with a theatrical air that’s intriguing rather than overwrought. “Outta My Head” has a surprising punk spirit in its seething indifference about the audience’s perceptions and the sinewy accompaniment is characteristic of the album as a whole.
“Nobody’s” backs off the first song’s romping tempo in favor of a more measured take on Boone’s sound. His vocal is more nuanced here, as well, but still manifests the same unbridled touch shaping the opener’s singing performance. The obvious intelligence underlying this album’s composition and recording has no better illustration, really, than in the way Boone holds down a consistent sound throughout the release, yet manipulates it in countless variations. “Parlour” will be a revelatory moment for some. It’s thoroughly steeped in blues music with steady drumming, midnight lit organ playing lending a haunted feeling to the piece, and glowering red-eyed intensity coming from Boone’s voice. There’s nothing in the album’s first two songs hinting towards what comes with “Parlour” and it’s nothing less than stunning how completely Boone masters his own vision for this traditional form.
Alberta strikes up an improbable mix of influences with the song “Black Powder Sweet Pea” with its near-ragtime bounce, lightly romping piano, quasi-jazzy guitar, and it’s topped with an unlikely dash of violin to the song. It’s like a bit of music theater, really, with the outsized way it comes across with listeners, but there’s nothing straining for effect. It may sound unlike anything you’ve heard lately, but it sounds natural. “Baby, Don’t Blow Your Head Off” takes the earlier blues direction of “Parlour” to its furthest possible extension and really sets MMMMM on fire with a stylized but anguished blues. You can hear the desperation of the song’s title in every lyric and Boone, once again, brings a theatrical quality to his phrasing without ever descending into melodrama.
“Clueless” begins with occasional bass notes sounding off under slightly staggered piano lines. Introducing percussion into the song gives it a clearer shape and tightens the piano playing; there’s a lot of space in this performance and the piano playing dips in and out of the arrangement at the right times. Alberta experiments with an unusual percussion texture during the introduction for “Jay Walk’n”, but the song soon settles into a meditative tempo. Once again, Boone resists any temptation to layer the song with too heavy of an instrumental presence and the stripped down character of the performance gives listeners ample opportunity to appreciate his lyrical acumen. This is one of MMMMM’s finest pieces of writing.
The finale “Well, Well” doesn’t back an inch away from the same creativity defining the entire record. Blues comes back in a full effect with the song, including some spot on harmonica playing, and Boone even invokes whispers of a classic country sound we haven’t heard until now. What an imaginative journey MMMMM is – David Boone’s ear for music and the spirit filling his songwriting is clearly of the moment, but also for all time. It results in an artistic work strong enough to stand posterity’s glare. - NO DEPRESSION

"Vents Magazine"

It’s no mystery why singer/songwriter David Boone has named this project Alberta. Anyone who knows their music history will hear Boone’s riffs on traditional blues and immediately connect the name with what he’s doing on this release. Boone, however, brings a stronger personal element to his music than what many fans of Americana may be accustomed to. Boone’s take on blues music upends it somewhat, surrounding it with theatrical trappings its progenitors would have never considered, and even has an artsy edge bearing down on it in some respects. Nevertheless, Alberta invokes a true feeling for the form and gives it extra spark thanks to the depth of Boone’s lyrical content.

You hear that working from the first. “Outta My Head” hinges on one of rock music’s most successful, longest-standing tropes, but Boone supercharges it with language all his own and a vocal performance expertly balanced between edgy and emotive. He bursts out near the song’s end, however, and unleashes his best rock vocal on the release. “Nobody’s” illustrates how talented Boone is at inhabiting a character – this is much more mid-tempo moody rock than blues, Alberta never restricts itself to a single musical vehicle, but it has the same theatrical result albeit in a different idiom.

The slither-like threat implied from the first by “Quitters & Thieves” has some accompanying lyrical content that Boone treats with the confidence of a much more seasoned singer. The “instructional” quality of his writing finds a perfect union with his weathered, but musically spot on, delivery. The light rhythmic touch of the song’s percussion contrasts well with the assortment of near lyrical piano phrases laden throughout the song. The horn playing built into “Baby, Don’t Blow Your Head Off” is quite at odds with the violent phrasing of the title and the incongruity of the song constitutes a lot of its charm. The bloozy elegance of the song definitely has the whiff of desperation surrounding it, but there’s dark comedy here as well.

Boone claims Tom Waits as an important influence and you can hear some of that, at very least, with the track “Soft Lights”, but Boone embraces a far more accessible structure and sound for this song than Waits would have pursued. That’s no sleight. If anything, it stands to Alberta’s merits that it concerns itself so much with maintaining an ideal balance between challenging and entertaining listeners. The final standout cut included on the album comes with its penultimate cut “Accidents”. Alberta hits upon a simmering, overheating sway for this song; anyone familiar with Bob Dylan’s album Time Out of Mind can draw a valid reference point to the production values governing this release. It’s an effective, swampy sound achieved while still adding more dramatics to the song. Alberta isn’t just some excursion in lieu of more serious work or a one off lark; Boone has invested great time and obvious effort to make this album hold so well together. MMMMM is the first chapter in a potentially life changing story for David Boone and volumes to follow are likely to expand on this significant triumph. - VENTS MAGAZINE


Boone describes MMMMM, saying, "This record is really just the explosion of one thought, and each song is just some of the shrapnel."

Nowadays Alberta spends most of his time in Seattle, although once upon a time he hung out in both Detroit and Chicago.

"Jay Walk'n," along with the rest of the songs on MMMMM, was written on a piano picked up at the Salvation Army and a couch modified guitar, and recorded in a studio slapped together in a garage. In other words, it's lo-fi, but powerful as all get-out, radiating visceral colors and a brash bad-ass attitude.

Boone's nonchalant style in the studio reflects his philosophy toward life. Within a month of finishing MMMMM, he sold off all his material possessions, kitted out a beat up old work van for sleeping, and went on tour. He's still on the road, touring, playing anywhere and everywhere.

"Jay Walk'n" opens with crunching percussion seguing into a dark, wickedly hefty, and sensual indie-rock tune, like Chris Isaak on steroids. Strapping guitars, austere and flavored with oozing bluesy textures, abrade the atmosphere with tight, raw harmonics.

Boone's voice, raspy and inflected by a deliciously languid drawl, conjures up ghostly tones of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty, dense with uncooked, primal timbres, like a snarling sotto voce whisper. It's a grandly evocative voice, capable of nuanced wild passion.

With "Jay Walk'n," Alberta delivers a cool sound aching with gut-wrenching force, along with starkly reckless vocal tones. Alberta most assuredly got next up. - POPDUST


Alberta is the brainchild of singer/songwriter and Detroit native David Boone and his new album MMMMM, self-released, is an eleven song collection attesting to his idiosyncratic artistic nature. Describing his newest release as the explosion of a single thought overall with the individual songs representing shards of shrapnel, it’s clear Boone intends there to be an unifying concept behind the release. This fact is made further evident once listeners launch into the release as Alberta’s songs share certain key aspects of their musical identity centered around the atmospherics and flavor of Boone’s mix for the album. MMMMM’s songs are evocative without ever falling into clichés and driven by compelling arrangements and vocal performances alike.

“Outta My Head” immediately grabs your attention. The arrangement has a spartan character but, despite that, it never feels thin. The brisk drumming gives the track an urgent push from the first and the slashing guitar work wreathed in echo focuses more on rhythm, but colors the performance with discordant flashes of melody along the way. Boone’s vocal is unsettled from the first, but he fully embodies the song title by tune’s end, screaming with unrestrained energy. There’s a bit more underhanded menace or malicious playfulness implied in the tone of the second track “Nobody’s”. Boone’s singing is more restrained here than the opener, as is the tempo, but he elongates lines in such a way you quickly question the motives of his song’s narrator. Some of the vocals are bathed in post-production effects, but never so heavily they lose impact. The addition of keyboards for this song widens the album’s sound.

There’s some slow burning Sturm und Drang powering “Parlour”, a claustrophobic blues laced with tasty organ lines and a deeply emotive Boone vocal. This is far from a busy or cluttered tune, but invokes such a solid atmosphere of stress pressing down on the song’s speaker from every side and the strain Boone affects through his voice has unquestionable credibility. “Quitters & Thieves” has a low-key, woozy three a.m. ruefulness swirling throughout the tune and the ravished soul of Boone’s voice is full of torch song grit. The writing for this tune is especially stinging and Boone gives it a dramatic reading neatly dovetailing into the musical mood.

We return to Alberta’s atmospheric post modern blues with the song “Baby, Don’t Blow Your Head Off”, a sort of 21st century version of Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breaking Down” imbued with big city jazz smokiness. Everything here is intensely personal, the stakes are high, but the songwriting keeps much of the track shrouded in just the right amount of mystery. We can make of these tracks what we will. The horns are a particularly nice touch here. “Soft Lights” has a strong Tom Waits or Mark Lanegan influence vocally, but there’s a low-key rock and roll tone sparking from the song accentuated by the recurring slide guitar wail.

“Accidents” has a surprisingly funky groove during significant passages of the song, but it transforms over the course of its running time and proves to be one of the richer, more diverse tracks included on MMMMM. No matter what name Boone chooses to write and record under, he’s creating a body of work that wears its debts on its sleeve, but refashions those influences into something truly his own. This eleven song collection may rate as one of 2018’s out of left field releases for you, one you didn’t see coming in this musical climate, but there’s no question David Boone is the real deal as a musician, singer, and songwriter. - INDIESHARK



Alberta is the music of david boone. MMMMM is the title of his newest release.

“this record is really just the explosion of one thought, and each song is just some of

the shrapnel”.

If this record came from an explosion, then the body it came from must be

Frankenstein’s monster. Written on a salvation army piano, a couch modded guitar,

and recorded in a garage built studio, it is hardly a record that screams slick, rather

an album that is relentless in its exploration of color and attitude. Each song really

does seem to float out somewhere on its own, but by the time all 11 tracks are

through, the familiarity that at one time bound all together is obvious. Boone’s

approach in the studio mirrors his approach outside of it. Four weeks after

MMMMM was done, he sold all of his things, outfitted an old work van worthy

enough to catch some rest in, and took off. Playing anywhere and everywhere, the

29 year old Detroit native -- who called Chicago & Seattle each home for a spell, has

been on the road since, and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Band Members