A continuation of the monthly series where we explore some of the non-metal albums I’ve been rocking…
Roger C. Reale – Oxford Beat
To say that Roger Reale is a veteran of the Connecticut music scene would be a huge understatement. Most recently the bass player and front man of the fantastic blue rock four-piece, The Manchurians, Reale has been making music in the Nutmeg State for over 30 years. This time around we find him out on his own with a new set of musicians helping fulfill his distinctly 1960s, British visions. Reale seems intent on keeping alive all the great blues-inspired rock of the early to mid 60s almost single-handedly, and these four songs certainly help the cause.
Them Damn Hamiltons – Smoke From The Well
Almost four years after they dropped their debut EP, Connecticut’s Them Damn Hamiltons return with their first full-length album, Smoke From The Well. Steeped in dark themes and sea chanteys, Them Damn Hamiltons play a type of atmospheric folk music that makes them one of the more unique acts that you’ll pluck from the Americana pantheon. Employing both drums and a cello full-time also allows this act to be a little more nimble when it comes to stretching their sound in different directions away from your average folk songs, which they do time and time again on this album. Almost cinematic in their approach to storytelling, Them Damn Hamiltons have spun ten yarns definitely worthy of your attention.
The Goddamn River – s/t
The Goddamn River are a relatively new act and this four-song EP is their first official recording. If it’s to be taken as any indication as to where these guys may be headed then we have a lot to look forward to. This is raucous bluegrass, built on a rock foundation – equal parts catchy and rollicking. While The Goddamn River employ the normal bluegrass accoutrements, they certainly don’t play them like the average bluegrass act, (Was that a straight-up, guitar solo on the track “Wounded Wing?”) and the lyrical content matches the underlying heaviness of it all. I can’t be sure but I think the Devil, the rapture, or some other dark religious iconography might have been mentioned in all four songs., and I’m totally down with that. Here’s to hoping we hear a lot more from these guys in the future.