The Goat Roper Rodeo Band,
Hail the Remedy
(101 Records, 2013)

This Welsh band consists of Thomas Lee Davies (vocals and double bass), James Paul Davies (vocals and guitar) and Sam William Roberts (guitar and vocals). On first listening, they sound kind of wild, off the wall and maybe just a little bit primitive, and I mean all of those things in the very best way.

They have a kind of early acoustic rockabilly sound, with an old American country kick -- music from the era that Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford & Sons try to recreate. With their odd lead voices and old-fashioned, bluegrass-tinged harmonies, the Goat Roper Rodeo Band succeeds.

These guys sing about the dark side, about doing wrong when you know it's wrong and know you shouldn't. They sing about the joy to be found deep down there in the blues. When they sing a love song, it's about lost love, love destroyed so completely that the will is completely broken. For the Goat Roper Rodeo Band, the only solution is to keep moving. In the album's penultimate song, "Come & Go & Easy," they sing:

See, I gotta run, got to get somewhere,
Belly full of some of that dark despair,
and here comes a ride, gonna take me where?
I really don't mind, long as I get there.

You won't mind either, as long as you're on the journey with them.

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

16 March 2013

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