Friday, July 9, 2010

The Band Of Heathens One Foot In The Ether 2009

Sometimes derivative isn't bad at all. Here's a good example. This record has tracks that sound eerily like The Band, The Jayhawks, Olabelle, Keb Mo, Steve Earl, The Drive-By Truckers, Calexico, The Meters, and even The Staple Singers. Maybe there's a countrified Jimmy Buffett tune.

This is a bluesy country record with hints of gospel and soul, played by an outstanding group of three singer/guitarists (who also add piano and organ to the mix), and a rock solid drummer and bass player. Three good voices, harmonies abound, and the songwriting is generally quite good.

What else do you need? Well, it is a good recording with a nice organic sound, and the ensemble playing makes for a record that at once sounds spare and busy. There is almost always something interesting going on in the arrangements. L.A. County Blues, Say, Shine A Light, Golden Calf, You're Gonna Miss Me, Somebody Tell The Truth, and Hey Rider are all standouts, and the other half of the tracks hold there own.

If you like most of the references noted at the beginning of this entry, there is a very good chance you'll like this one, too.

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