Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
Hot on the heels of their 2019 Grammy nomination, Victor Wainwright and the Train check in here with an even stronger effort. Lead by piano master and vocalist Wainwright, The Train (Billy Dean- drums, percussion, vocals, Terrence Grayson- bass, vocals, Pat Harrington- guitar, vocals, Mark Earley- baritone and tenor sax, Doug Woolverton- trumpet and flugelhorn, Dave Gross- guitar, vocals and percussion along with special guests- Greg Gumpel -guitar, vocals, Reba Russell and Gracie Curran- vocals and Monster Mike Welch -guitar) travels through a diverse landscape on the 12 cuts collected here. "Mississippi" is a party-ready rocker that surely will quicken your pulse while "Walk the Walk" has a brass-driven carnival atmosphere that will lighten your load. "Disappear" is a heartfelt ballad about loss that recalls the elegant rock of Bob Seger or even Styx and stands in stark contrast to tracks such as the Springsteen style get away of "Creek Don’t Rise" and the slinky Little Feat groove of the homage to Wainwright’s favorite 4-legged companion, "My Dog Riley". For those that have spent some time in the harness of a bad job there’s the funky "South End of a North Bound Mule". While the fun quotient is high for most of the disc, Wainwright also uses a few bars to remind us of what is important, "Golden Rule", and makes a plea on America for some middle ground in our national discourse. The title track matches Wainwrights driving piano with tightly-locked horn charts. Wainwright delivers the lyrics throughout this set with a forceful, yet soulful, voice splitting the difference between Nathaniel Rateliff and Phil Alvin of the Blasters. While many large rock or blues ensembles get in each other’s way, the crew that makes up the Train meshes seamlessly with a rich, but not cluttered sound that invites repeated spins. Wow! SMITTY
review by Mark
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