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The Amity Front - Highway Bound

Highway Bound

The Amity Front

Available from CD Baby

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This exceedingly eclectic group has a wide and varied sound that is communicated in a true and honest manner. Part of that may be because two members of the group write all the songs; Erik Alan wrote all but two of the songs, and those two, The Hymn and The Beat(nik) were written by Levin Schwartz. Perhaps because the songs come from within, the band or possibly for some reason like they are very good musicians, the seemingly disparate styles seem to seamlessly flow together. They are rooted in the blues, but certainly not limited by the form. They stretch their music in some very interesting directions. The disc opens with a weeper in the country tradition that is played by a roots amalgamation, and then flows through some semi-bluegrass sounding instrumentation, onto some deeper bluegrass sounds, to a drunken sounding spoken hippie lament, to some Tom Waitsish sounding jazzy rhythm, and so forth, you get the idea of what is happening here. It all holds together and flows with a natural motion. There is nothing new and groundbreaking here, there are some very good and well thought out musical breaks that are never overdone, but always seem to just about right. The lead guitar work of Levin Schwartz isn't breaking new ground but is tastefully fluent, and Erik Alan's voice has a mournful distinctive rasp that adds an additional layer to the songs. This group has an interesting future and some real potential to break out of its Amherst, Massachusetts's area stomping ground.

Track List:

  • A Song For Suzie
  • Highway Bound
  • Maggie May
  • Things Don't Seem As Bad
  • Pocket Change Romance
  • The Beat(nik)
  • 16 Miles
  • She Don't Lie
  • Can't Come Home
  • The Hymn

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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