If you like old-timey, there's enough here to turn your head. Of course, if you're a purist, keep an open mind because Deadwood Revival has the spark of a Goose Creek [The Corn Won't Grow (So Rock & Roll] or Cydney Robinson, whose take is maybe a step further toward modern extreme hillbilly music (you have to hear her to understand) but still in the ballpark. That spark, while hard to put into words, works the music until you can't help but move, even if it's just on the inside.
Take the Grand Ole Opry-style Secret or Roscoe Stomp (and we're talking thirties and forties here). Crank a little treble up and you can almost see the clog dancin' and boot stompin', Jason Mogi laying super fine banjo licks over Kim Trenerry's bouncy acoustic rhythm, voices singing into one of those huge gawdawful crystal mikes they used in those days. It's a musical vision. The Goose Creek-sounding Bound To Go really could follow up The Corn Won't Grow (So Rock & Roll) on any compilation, having that infectious rhythm (not unlike the song which goes "Every time I go to town, folks keep kickin' my dog around", whatever song that is) and when laid beneath the "aw shucks" voices makes you want to sing along and maybe even do one of those corny shuffle dances. Mogi's solo banjo takes a short ride on Down To the Wire, as good a ride as given on the best of Pete Wernick's old-time recordings. Too short at 1:04, it is a superb preface to Trenerry's modern folk rocking "Shake the Barnhouse Down" which serves up some excellent harmonies and picking.
Vocally, Mogi and Trenerry acquit themselves beautifully, but never so much as when they harmonize. There is something about the thin old-timey Mogi voice when it blends with Trenerry's which makes it even better, and vice-versa. Instrumentally, they rock. Trenerry is a fine bass player (though they have added Ches Ferguson on bass since the album was released) and has a touch on the acoustic guitar. Mogi's guitar is top-notch and his banjo is one of the most unique out there.
Let's put it this way. If I was booking a folk festival, or was even looking for an acoustic act for a rock festival, I wouldn't hesitate to book DwR. You can tell from the first note of this album that they are crowd-pleasers. They're fun, adventurous and yet true to their roots. They would be something to see. And chances are that if you haven't bought this CD by then, you will buy it then. They're that good.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles