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The Wages of Sin - Gringo Mariachi

Gringo Mariachi

The Wages of Sin

Checkbook Records - MCB668

Available from CD Baby.

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

This is one very rowdy disc though where the term Mariachi fits in is bound to leave the listener puzzled. Mariachi music usually consists of at least three violins, a guitarron (low pitched/base guitar), one high-pitched 5-string guitar and two trumpets. They also dress in the charro outfits, tight studded pants, short tight jackets, and with the wide brimmed embroidered sombrero and that part of it at least in the publicity photos they seem to have correct (whether they play dressed like that is another matter). Their instrumentation is guitar, banjo, pedal steel, upright bass, drums/percussion, mandolin, harmonica, Theremin, bouzouki, and fiddle, and all six members of the group do sing, so they came kind of sneak in there on that count. The music of the Wages of Sin is loud, raucous, generally played loud and very fast, and is a mix of Celtic, Country, Rockabilly, and Punk, while Celtic music is their main touchstone and they branch out from there. The operative word of this group playing music is to play it fast or if possible to play it faster and to sing in a voice that sounds as if the vocals chords have been sandpapered and dragged over a sandy river bottom at a fast gallop. The music because of the speed and loudness begins to blend together and the songs all begin to blend into one another and sound the same. There was one called New Orleans Eulogy, that by title indicated something a bit quieter and roused curiosity about what it would be, and what it would be about. Musically it was played at the same feverish pitch, and as close as my ears listened never did they picked up the words New Orleans, though they did hear a reference to swamps. The song that sums this disc up is White Riot. 'nough said.

Track List:

  • Skull Creek Logger
  • The Drunkard's Prayer
  • Belly of the Whale
  • Black Lung Blues
  • Haymarket
  • New Orleans Eulogy
  • Bible & a Gun
  • Razor in My Pocket
  • Portrait of an Evangelist
  • Ten Fathoms Deep
  • The Righteous Stranger
  • White Riot
  • Stull

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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