Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Album Review: Brent Amaker and the Rodeo -Year Of the Dragon

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo
Year Of The Dragon
*** out of *****

Putting a smiling wink on the country road song Brent Amaker and the Rodeo unleash Year Of The Dragon. With killer cover art and a press photo like this one you get a sense of the bands mindset before you even put the disk on. The group have a clear respect for classic country sound but twist their own warped perspective into the genre.

"The Tiger Inside" kicks things off with a warning as Amaker's rich, deep vocals lead a band of drum tight players through a cautionary tale for whoever may be in their sites. Tracks like the opener, "I Put My Boots On" and "What's Wrong With You" show that the group isn't taking themselves too seriously. There is a sense of Les Claypool gone full blown country to the proceedings (minus any bass antics) and the song writing on Year Of The Dragon.

It isn't all jokes and games though as "Country Sky" is a sweet ode to it's title and "Troubled Times" hits home via a tasty piano solo. "Hustler" is a great album closer while "Time To Set Things Straight" channels "Rawhide's" riff's; the overall tone of the album feels like a honky-tonk on a lonely highway.  Musically the group stays behind Amakers lush vocals, but the crisp snare, snake like guitars and varying keys all manage to shine in their own time.

Things aren't always successful, tracks like "Captain Of The Ship" and "Suitcase" seem like one note castoff's but overall the band mixes thing up enough to keep it interesting while always appreciating the classic-country waters they are swimming in.    
Pretty interesting disk, had never heard of Brent Amaker and the Rodeo before, but will def keep an eye out for them in the future.
Support the band here, grab the disk here, see them live here, and for a limited time you can stream the full album for your self here.

"I Put My Boots On" Live

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