George Scherer,
The Election Year Waltz
(self-produced, 2004)

Liberals take notice: George Scherer has a few anthems for you to sing at your next protest or convention-disrupting vigil. With a title like The Election Year Waltz, who expected otherwise? With this new album, Scherer continues the great tradition of political bluegrass with fun, grit and down-dirty soul.

He fires his first salvo at both father and son on the first track, "Two Bush Blues," a catchy, witty, rollicking tune with the perquisites of a good protest song and all the toe-tapping fun of a barn dance. Then, he switches tactics with an elegy for the environment, "Dead Fish Floating," where his soulful, gravel-pit rasp brings to mind plows tearing across the earth. He then brings God on his side with urgency, disquieting guitar and sinister tambourine on "Rich Young Ruler." He finishes off his prey with the bombastic and hilarious "Election Year Waltz." The carousel music and snare drum backdrop on this biting title track pick you up, swirl you around in a merry dance and leave you gasping from laughter and outrage.

But Scherer doesn't throw all his energy into worthwhile protest. He honors his wife with "Chicken Pot Pie," the funniest, sweetest love song any woman tired of competing with her mother-in-law will ever receive. He then honors his father with "You Told Me So," a reminder of the perennial battle of wisdom vs. experience (anyone who's heard Cat Steven's "Father and Son" will know exactly what this is about). This makes The Election Year Waltz an all-around treat of fun, satirical and subversive bluegrass that leaves you laughing and cursing and longing for more, even after the chads have all dangled their way to the Big House.

- Rambles
written by Tracie Vida
published 18 September 2004

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