music reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Audioengine A2+ Desktop Speakers Review
Darwin Truth Silver Cable Review
Anthony Gallo Acoustics A’Diva SE Loudspeakers & TR-3D Subwoofer Review
Denon DA-300USB DAC Review
The SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer Review
10 Most Recent Music Disc Reviews:
Latest AV News
Music Software Forum Topics:
Most Popular Music Disc Reviews
Past Music Software News
 
The Dust Bowl Cavaliers - Volume 2: Flowers and Gasoline  Print E-mail
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Abbie Bernstein   
Friday, 01 February 2008

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful

Overall rating (weighted)
3.8
Performance:
4.0
Sound Quality:
3.5
Was this review helpful to you? yes     no
There is something delightfully unlikely about the Dustbowl Cavaliers. Let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of homegrown L.A. bluegrass bands to begin with, but the Cavaliers have a totally authentic sound, whether they’re playing straight-up traditional old folk tunes, original compositions or even you-have-to-hear-it-to-believe-it covers of songs from other genres.

The musical dexterity, speed and skill of the Cavaliers – bassist/vocalist Matt Stephen Young, mandolin/harmonica/vocalist Ryan Raddatz, guitarist/fiddler/vocalist Corey Rouse, banjo player John Rosen and snare drummer Dave Keeton (with additional drums supplied by Ken Beck) – is truly something to hear. This is the kind of music where the performers are so good, and so clearly having a blast with what they’re doing, that the mood is infectious.

Interestingly, for the most part, the originals are more fun than the folk covers, and manage to sound pretty much as authentic. The trad tracks include a Celtic-flavored, fiddle-and-mandolin-driven “Old Joe Clark,” “Hot Corn, Cold Corn,” Darlin’ Corey,” a super-swift tempo “Crawdad,” a very funny “Slew Foot” (about a man who may be masquerading as a bear), “Banks of the Ohio” (about as upbeat as a murder ballad is going to get), “Buffalo Gals” and an exuberant “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”

As for the originals, the opening track, “DBC Theme,” written by Young, introduces all the band members at already-airborne velocity, with each instrument racing in time with its fellows. Young’s “What Is a Man?” has country gospel aspects side by side with a traveling ballad, powered by strong vocal harmonies and a firm drum line.

Flowers and Gasoline takes its title from “Got Me a Woman,” an original written by guitarist McCardle, which plays with rhymes as it celebrates the singer’s contradictory ladylove. The song showcases the individual voices of the band members as they chime in one at a time on the choral “Oh!,” and lets bass, banjo, mandolin and guitar all make expressive, distinctive contributions.

“Lay You Down,” another original by Young and Raddatz, is a highlight, an ecstatic romance that speaks of both immediate desire and enduring love, with Raddatz’s mandolin in the shimmering forefront.

Finally, there’s a cover that, even if you know what’s coming, surprises every time. Ever hear a bluegrass version of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated”? Didn’t think so. This is just a hoot. The intro starts out briskly but not really indicating what’s going to happen until the lyrics kick in, voices insistently twangy and strings plucked with wild yet accurate fervor behind the expected strumming and drumming.

Sound
Sound quality is clean, clear and realistic, with neither audible special effects nor flaws imposing themselves between music and listener. (The album notes state that Flowers and Gasoline was recorded at the Matt Cave, which may be a reference to Young’s domain.) You can hear every string pick and fret hit, which is saying something, given the abundance of flying fingers in these performances.

Even if bluegrass isn’t normally your genre of choice, there’s such joy and fine musicianship on Dustbowl Cavaliers’ Volume Two: Flowers and Gasoline that it’s borderline irresistible. “You’ll have a good time” the DBC Theme promises, and dang it, so you will.
Artist The Dust Bowl Cavaliers
Album Volume 2: Flowers and Gasoline
Format 16-bit, Stereo CD
Release Year 2008
Label Dustbowl Cavaliers
Genre Folk
Reviewer Abbie Bernstein
Forum Link http://www.avrevforum.com







Like this article? Bookmark and share with any of the sites below.
Digg!Reddit!Del.icio.us!Google!StumbleUpon!Yahoo!Free social bookmarking plugins and extensions for Joomla! websites!
 

 
  home theater news  |  equipment reviews 
  blu-ray reviews  |  dvd  |  theatrical reviews  
  music download reviews  |  music disc reviews
  contact  |  about-us  |  careers   |  brands 
  Subscribe to Us   |   RSS   |  AVRev Forums
  front page  |  virtual tours  |  dealer locator
  how to features  |   lifestyle & design articles
  Want Your Home Theater Featured on MHT?
   CE Partners: HDD  |  HDF  |  VGT  |  SD  |  DVD
   
  Advertise with Us | Specs | Disclaimer
  Sponsors | privacy policy | terms of use
  909 N. Sepulveda Blvd. El Segundo, CA 90245
  Ads: 310.280.4476 | Contact Us
  Content: 310.280.4575 | Mike Flacy