BOBTOWN

Trouble I Wrought

2012-11-05

This interesting ensemble's music has been described as "Gothic Folk." How else to introduce a band that does a bluegrass cover of "Don't Fear the Reaper," the Blue Oyster Cult mega-hit of yesteryear? There are many banjo bands barnstorming America, but Bobtown has carved a distinct niche with its choral harmonies, strong percussion and seamless mixture of bluegrass, blues, gospel and folk. This is a shade darker than most Americana groups, a kind-of bluegrass noir, which is evident immediately in the opener, the nearly-a-capella "Mama's Got the Backbeat," a hand-clapping rhythmic gospel-tinged tune. In addition to the "Reaper" cover, another standout to mention is "Battle Creek," again with the rhythmic hand-claps in this worker's lament. While there are a couple of light-hearted songs, for the most part the body count and the despair-o-meter in this set is high. Kudos to this band for choosing the road not taken as it travels the bluegrass musical landscape--and intriguing the listener enough to have them come along for the ride. Michael J. 11/12 F-Neo Americana

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