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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Gypsy Lumberjacks

Giants of America

Review by Gary Hill

This is such a cool set. It has an extremely wide range of sound. Everything is here from Spanish guitar to jazz, folk, rock and even reggae. There is definitely a jam band element to it all. Whatever you call it, though, it’s entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Raise Your Dram

Folk, rock and jam band sounds merge on this old world inspired cut. It’s energetic and classy.

Chasing the Sun
A bluesy rock vibe is paired with old school ethnic music on this number. The vocal lines on this are very captivating and the song has a lot of energy. There is some Spanish guitar built into this beast.
Hurry Up (Copeland arr. by Gypsy Lumberjacks)
This instrumental is energized and very folk oriented. It feels like traveling music. It has an intricate melody. I love the bass solo section. World music, jazz and more are included on this.
Battles of the Frontiers
I like the modern sound meets roots approach on this. It’s folky, but it’s also energetic and fun.
Bad Boy
With a definite infusion of reggae, this is cool. While it’s still obviously related to what’s come for, it also reminds me a bit of early Police.
Kill a Man
This rocker is a real scorcher. The lyrics and impassioned vocal performance are what really sell it, though. Musically, it’s very much roots music with a Latin edge. It’s one of the best tunes here.
Elevators
Based on gypsy type music, this instrumental is a lot of fun. It’s got plenty of energy and some great melodies.
Friend of the Devil (Garcia arr. by Gypsy Lumberjacks)
I love this arrangement on the Grateful Dead tune. It’s kind of a jazzy little romp as performed here. This is fun. Of course, when the source material is this good, it’s not hard. That said, this is a very different piece. The jam later takes it through some great musical territory.
Migration
A pretty straightforward folk rocker, the vocals really sell this one.
Love Her in the Morning
With a real bluegrass hoedown energy and vibe, this is fun.

 

 
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