- Bryon Harris
Pontiac Alley - 'Highway 99'
Review by Sylvie Marie & Staff
In 2017, Rocker Ben Potter meets traditional Country/Blues powerhouse Chellanie and they form the Americana duo "Pontiac Alley." They quickly become known for their on stage chemistry and unique harmony blends of original songs along with ingenious renditions of some of their favorite covers. Pontiac Alley is fresh, fun, and never boring. Their song "Highway 99" is a great way to get acquainted with their appealing sound and performance.
A grungy, 12-bar blues riff, with ample distortion, commences Pontiac Alley's "Highway 99." Bold rolling and rocking drums join the mix as a lead slide guitar pierces through in the upper register. After the blast of rock in the energetic introduction, the instrumentation makes space with a strumming acoustic guitar and crisp drums to set a rockin' country vibe that exudes freedom on the road.
Chellanie enters with earth-toned, country-tinged vocals on the first melodic verse.
"Crawling north on Highway 99 Music up, windows down, summertime. Caught a glimpse of you in the lane beside of me Couldn’t look away hypnotized."
The fun summertime verses are separated by seamless slide guitar riffs. By the second verse, the song becomes a duet with Ben Potter adding his slightly edgy (in the best way) and expressive vocals. Background vocals add a nostalgic touch.
"Highway 99" is about unexpected encounters, one that starts on the road to life with just a smile. The song is about chance meetings and how you never know who is waiting for you, just around the corner. "OOOHH I found you NO OOOO I found you…… Funny how a look can make your life turn right Crawlin north on Hwy 99." The song's romantic and fun spirit shines with summer love.
The arrangement of "Highway 99" is an example of how good musicianship is conceived and executed. The mix is always engaging, keeping your ears locked in. Ragtime-like piano adds to the exuberant sound along with a tight, walking bass. The instruments drop out for a vocal and drum section that invites a clap along and the chorus pops off the page.
Pontiac Alley gives you a reason to get in your car, roll down the windows, and crank up "Highway 99." Filled with good summer vibrations and upbeat lyrics about falling in love, "Highway 99" is a fun ride you will fall in love with, from beginning to end.