Zubot & Dawson - Chicken Scratch (Music CD)

Release Date: 22 June 2015
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Mixing folk, rock, blues, and jazz in the style of Dave Matthews and Béla Fleck, this Canadian duo continues to evolve in eclectic fashions. "Ed's Wake" has a Celtic folk groove in it but also has traces of Middle Eastern hues, particularly during the song's first two minutes. The duo loves to play off of each other, which is indicative of the entire album. "Shame About It" has a swampy Delta blues arrangement, but evolves into a lush acoustic pop sound. Phish would be a fair comparison also, as there is a certain "jam" quality to the songs and their according leisurely paced structures. "The Elf Hunter" is almost too relaxed, losing a bit of the intensity previous songs possess. Returning to the melody after some intricate solo work on guitar, Zubot & Dawson make the most with relatively technologically unfriendly instruments. "Boomer's Hill Road" is a slow, tension-building track that could be mistaken for Ry Cooder's outstanding work on Paris, Texas. "Two Caps" is similar to Cooder's deliberate yet well-known style of guitar picking. Unfortunately, it loses its edge with a rather aimless and indifferent conclusion. Kelly Joe Phelps lends his vocals on the lengthy blues track "Hellhounds on My Trail," but the number doesn't get off the ground as one might expect. Thankfully, "Hoedown" does from the beginning, a rollicking hillbilly-meets-R&B tune that brings to mind Mark Knopfler's solo work. The latter portion of the record lends itself toward an acoustic country-folk sound, with "May You Never" being a prime example. One of the odder tracks here is the Latin groove during the flamenco-sounding "Paloma." Resembling more of a world music style than acoustic folk, it's an innovative reworking of the duo's trademark sound. The funky "The Chomp" is the album's surprising shining moment, with a distinct tempo that veers between 4/4 and 5/4 time. ~ Jason MacNeil

More Detail

  • 1. Ed's Wake
  • 2. Shame About It
  • 3. The Elf Hunter
  • 4. Boomer's Hill Road
  • 5. Hellhounds on My Trail
  • 6. Hoedown
  • 7. The King of America
  • 8. May You Never
  • 9. Two Caps
  • 10. Paloma
  • 11. Odessa
  • 12. The Chomp
  • 13. Lonely Jackson Trigger
Release Date: 22 June 2015