Friday, September 7, 2012

CD Review: Chemako's Self-Titled Release from Italy

Ultra Sound Records

The gritty folk-rock stylings of Italy's Chemako is surprisingly similar in tone and arrangement to America's Southern folk, rock, and blues music. Moreover, the vocals are in English and the instrumentation is largely based in the Deep South. The slide guitar, piano, banjo, dobro, acoustic guitar, mandoguitar, drums, harp, ukulele, sax, and flugelhorn round out the instrumental repertoire. A few of the songs contain female lead singers, including "Maintenance Free," "Let It Burn Wild," "Save The Moon," "The Ocean Song," "Tears For Breakfast," and "George Harrison's cover, "All Things Must Pass." The Sarah MacLachlan-esque "The Ocean Song" contains a little Shawn Colvin-esque vocals and guitar playing with bass, drums, and flugelhorn. The music is bluesy, Western, and Southern rock with a folk twist. The music is unlike anything heard, because it does not sound 'Italian.' At any rate, listeners enthralled by folk rock and blues will love Chemako. ~ Matthew Forss

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