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Many of you will already be familiar with the music of Cahalen Morrison through his partnership with Eli West (Cahalen Morrison and Eli West) and Jim Miller (Donna The Buffalo). Both star on vocals, and have in Ethan Lawton (drums) a third lead vocalist. Joining the above you have Rusty Blake (pedal steel) and Dan Lowinger (bass) plus special guest, Rosie Newton on fiddle. Based in Seattle here is a band I hope will have a long run at it, and it isn’t only a brief fling. Which doesn’t look like to be the case with them material for a second album already stacking up. All looks good.
The vocalists and musicians complement one another superbly, and with each lead vocalist possessing a different style it gives the music an added attraction. Morrison has a style set in stone, immediately you hear his voice you know you are ‘looking at country’ to coin a Loretta Lynn phrase. He’s that good! Fans of traditional music are in for a treat, and with their loose, rambling style it is made to measure for Americana, and the singer-songwriter scene. Loaded in pedal steel and stellar lyrics the boys have come through with a winner. Fellow act, Nashville’s Jim Lauderdale comments; “This record and band hits the spot. The songs are cool, smart, deep and fun (the way I like my swimming pools). They’re rooted in classic country with a twist’.
I love the swagger of Lawton as he nails down the likes of the uplifting, fun-loving “Double Or Nothing” and corky “Off The Shelf”, and to a slightly less degree another song about drink, “In My Cups”. Live they are terrific. You have got to see them to realise exactly what I am talking about. Lawton comes into his own live. Going back to “Off The Shelf” it is peppered with pedal steel, harmony vocals, and what great electric lead guitar (Miller) as Lawton’s irony filled lyrics look at people's fondness of drink from another angle.
As for Miller he likewise stars on lead vocals on a trio of tunes. “The Long Game” has all the hallmarks of something from Donna And The Buffalo and is none the worse for it! It’s chugging rhythm and twangy electric guitar plus incessant fiddle (and more choice pedal steel guitar) build it into one of the finest efforts on the record. Morrison, apart from his killer opener, title-track “Weight Of The World” (hints of Waylon Jennings in the rhythm) he also sashays through “What Will They Say About Us Now? and “Philosophers And Fools”. Plus with it primed, perfectly with pedal steel, fiddle and harmony vocals he also serves up “Hallucinations”. While the perfectly measured “The Old You” speaks of coming from the town to see the country, and how it’s still pretty the little that is left. It isn’t the one and only time the boys take a deeper look at life and what is going on around is and it isn’t all good (but the music is!).
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