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It is difficult, if not impossible, not to mention The Band when reviewing this release from this upstate New York outfit – not only is the label name relevant, but sometime Band collaborator, multi-instrumentalist and producer Professor Louie helps out on various keyboards and accordion here. The music might not be quite what you associate with The Band’s music though – but listen out carefully and you might detect a connection. Waydown Wailers is a four piece under the joint leadership of brothers Dave (guitar and vocals) and Moe Parker (lead guitar), augmented by Connor Plekey on bass and backing vocals, and drummer Michael “Scruffy” Scriminger, and this release is the follow-up to their 2013 debut album “State Of The Union”. The band’s sound ranges far and wide - “electric Americana”, drawing in elements of country, blues, folk, folk-rock (in the vein of The Byrds), 60s British invasion and garage sounds, and vintage rock and roll. The album’s only non-original track is an excellent rendition of Dale Hawkins’ gritty ‘Suzie Q’ keeping much of the flavour and sound of the original (though maybe there is also a nod towards Creedence Clearwater Revival, another reference point for this outfit, I guess) , but mostly The Waydown Wailers’ approach is far more individual. “Outlaw jam” is what the Waydown Wailers call their music – raunchy, extremely listenable and very enjoyable also fits the bill.
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