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Here's a really unusual and very American-sounding record from Old Smokey, a kind of modern day country rock ensemble with quite an unique style. The sticker on the front informs me that some of the members have played with Vic Chesnutt and Olivia Tremor Control which is good pedigree. They've got drums, banjo, lap steel, cello and someone who switches between violin and clarinet. As far as I can ...

LP £10.99 CLD023LP

LP on Cloud Recordings.

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Wester Easter by Old Smokey
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Mike Staff review, 16 May 2014
Here's a really unusual and very American-sounding record from Old Smokey, a kind of modern day country rock ensemble with quite an unique style. The sticker on the front informs me that some of the members have played with Vic Chesnutt and Olivia Tremor Control which is good pedigree. They've got drums, banjo, lap steel, cello and someone who switches between violin and clarinet. As far as I can tell everybody sings. It's quite a rhythmic music they make, generally centred either around a steady, loud drum beat or spiritual-esque gang vocals that emphasise the first beat of each bar.   Despite all the ingredients seeming like they're from a time long-past, the sound they make is so arresting and strange that it sounds perfectly modern. The recording is clear and well balanced but there's a roughness to the performance that suggests they were all in the room together when they recorded these songs. The clarinet in particular gives things a slightly bayou jazz feel, and when they up the pace a bit there's shades of the 13th Floor Elevators in the simple melodies and rickety layers of texture.   Not bad at all, not every day you hear an album this genuinely strange that still manages to be consistently catchy.

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