433 Town Center
Corte Madera, CA 94925
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Barbara Douglas
Do you appreciate four part harmony?? Do you appreciate good country music -- from classics to modern standards to original compositions?? Do you appreciate the occasional sarcastic comment?? If so partner, mosey on down and get yourself a copy of A Capella Country.
I realize this CD doesn't have the same amount of humor as some of the Edlos' other works, but that's part of its charm. Country music doesn't easily lend itself to comedy, unless it is done totally for laughs (a la Cletus T. Judd), but there's enough humor here to catch the listener off guard from time to time.
For Ever and Ever, Amen, the Don Schlitz composition popularized by Randy Travis, benefits greatly from a sarcastic comment or two. There's few among us, I'm sure, who hasn't thought "OK...if I tell you this one more time, maybe it'll finally sink in."
Goodbye to White Deer is a touching, poignant epitaph to a north Texas town that could have just as easily been written during the dust bowl days as during the oil bust of the not too distant past. Ed Cohn's bass vocals convey the resignation and sadness of the townspeople without lapsing into melancholy.
Baritone Larry Venza does a wonderful job with Hank Williams' Your Cheatin' Heart, and the rap interlude is NOT to be missed.
Three other country classics are given the straight treatment here: Big Bad John, Faded Love and Cattle Call. The cattle imitations on the latter must be heard to believed.
For those country purists who can't resist a good yodeling song, this CD offers two: Born to Yodel, an original composition by lead vocalist Eric Morris, and Castin' My Lasso. While I still prefer Patsy Montana's yodel on I Want To Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart, these numbers are quite enjoyable.
Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey is given a hauntingly ballad-like treatment here with tenor Craig Knudsen on vocals. Its far and away the best version of the song I've ever heard. I never considered Randy Newman's I Think It's Gonna Rain Today a country song, but it fits into the genre quite nicely.
This is a fine CD and a wonderful introduction to the talents of the Edlos. Several times, as I listened, I imagined myself bedding down for the night near the campfire, the horses hobbled nearby, a lone coyote howling in the distance...and that, to me, is one great CD. After all, if music can transport you to another time and another place, how can you resist adding it to your collection??
Edited by Paula Gregorowicz