Blues Revue Magazine summed them up with one poignant sentence:
"The Insomniacs could become legendary."
"The Insomniacs are the new generation of high-energy, authentic, young-bloods who have done their homework and incorporated their own unique soulful style" - Randy Chorktoff
(CEO - Delta Groove)
THE INSOMNIACS brand new release "AT LEAST I'M NOT WITH YOU" (April 21, 2009/Delta Groove Music), the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed debut "Left Coast Blues", was recorded in only two days. The Portland, OR-based band led by 27-year old vocalist/guitarist/songwriter VYASA DODSON, together with bassist DEAN MUELLER, keyboardist ALEX SHAKERI and drummer DAVE MELYAN, laid down an astounding set of material that had been finely tuned night after night out on the road over the last two years. This release has the benefit of production help from Jeff Scoot Fleenor and the quality sound of one of the finest recording studios on the west coast (Clear Lake Audio). Joined by special guests Al Blake (harmonica) Mitch Kashmar (harmonica), Joel Paterson (pedal steel guitar) and Jeff Turmes (tenor/baritone sax), The Insomniacs expand on their original intoxicating formula -- a mix of blues, swing, jump, and roots rock -- and deliver what is sure to become an instant classic.
The Insomniacs seemed to literally explode onto the scene out of nowhere in 2007 as a fully formed and functional unit delighting audiences with their joyous, yet highly contagious musical sound and irresistible sense of swing. Their self-produced debut release “Left Coast Blues”, recorded in the living room of bassist Dean Mueller’s house, was quickly snatched up and issued on Delta Groove Music, hitting a peak position of No. 5 on the national Living Blues radio charts. Critical praise and industry recognition from the blues community soon followed garnering the band a 2008 Blues Music Award nomination for Best New Artist Debut, as well as a 2007 Muddy Award presented by the Cascade Blues Association for Best Contemporary Blues Act.
They play vintage instruments and channel a blues style from the 1950s, but there is a distinct new cyberspace bent to Delta Groove’s blues award winning quartet, The Insomniacs. These musicians who have quickly jumped into the top tier of clubs tour endless highways in a beat up van, babying a gut-string upright, the 1951 Fender “Nocaster” guitar, the 1964 Framus Star Bass and their Magnatone and Ampeg tube amps.
But, they fill the long drives between gigs surfing the web on wireless laptops, looking at the MySpace and Facebook friends lists of the clubs down the road, and personally emailing blues fans to get them to listen to the band and come to the show. As a result, they get hundreds of plays per day on MySpace, a site usually focused on alternative, pop and hip-hop music. And they’ve enrolled a whole new generation of first-time young blues fans, as well as older ones who recognize the roots of their music.
Guitarist Vyasa Dodson, whose exotic name is a Sanskrit gift from his Northern California mother, had a revelation when he switched from emulating Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton to studying jump blues masters such as Junior Watson, Tiny Grimes, Charlie Christian, and Little Charlie Baty.
“The Blues isn’t dead,” says Dodson. “It’s just going in different directions. B.B. King and Buddy Guy got started when they were young. The same thing is happening today.”
“Blues music just speaks to me,” says bassist Dean Mueller, who had his mind blown teaching at Centrum’s Port Townsend Country Blues Festival, where he jammed with John Cephas, Louisiana Red and Honeyboy Edwards. “It was just so cool. I knew I had found my home.”
Together with Alex Shakeri on keys and Dave Melyan on drums they bust out with an original mix of blues, swing, jump, and roots rock & roll that has crowds dancing the night away. You can’t get that energy from a computer, the Internet, MySpace or a DVD.
“Who can sleep, with The Insomniacs?” (Blue Suede News)
"It is rare these days to see young blues musicians come along who have the kind of vision and commitments to play this music and make a go of it like these guys are. I am impressed by their talents and their humility..." - Al Blake (Hollywood Blue Flames)
"Vyasa really is a triple threat: guitar player, singer and songwriter. No doubt he is one hell of a guitar player, but it is his singing on this that really knocks me out." - Junior Watson
"The Portland, Oregon, group has that West Coast Swing sound down pat, performing tight numbers with original songwriting...There are no wasted notes and the music breathes with the palm trees." - Blues Wax
“The Insomniacs could become legendary” - Blues Revue
"...they should be among the five nominees for Best New Artist Debut at the Blues Music Awards" - Illinois Blues
" Delta Groove has added another tasty morsel to their already impressive catalog……..unwrap and enjoy " - Blues Wax
“…an auspicious debut from a supremely talented band” - Blues in Britain
“The Insomniacs are clearly in a league all their own” - Big City Blues
“... a smooth classy groove from the opening track” - Blues Matters
“The Insomniacs are an eye-opening foursome, indeed. ” - Music City Blues
“ a disc that hits all the right notes from beginning to end...this baby smokes ” - Blues Source
"They are polished, smooth, energetic, and authentic sounding all at the same time." - Maine Blues Society
“They will definitely get any crowd up on their feet!” - Blues & Rhythm Magazine
“a more impressive start than this, I feel, could not be achieved” - Blues Art Journal
“The Insomniacs are leaving their own thumbprint on this segment of the blues – and it feels good ” - Southland Blues Magazine
“This West Coast jump blues band ignites a party wherever they perform.” - Blues Notes
"The Insomniacs are the new generation of high-energy, authentic, young-bloods" - Randy Chorktoff, CEO Delta Groove Productions