Something’s Gotta Give – Dirt Track Racer (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I must admit, writing this from an ocean away I don’t know the difference between alt-country or Americana, I can’t really tell you where country music becomes bluegrass or even folk music. I’m sure, like genre debates across the world, no-one will ever really agree where these demarcations lay and to be honest does it really matter? To my mind songs like opening salvo and title track Something’s Gotta Give seem to be a crossroads, a mixing pot or point of collision for all of the labels I have just mentioned. But then what would I know?

What I do know is there is a lovely, graceful lilting quality to the song. It is built around the old stalwart sound, the guy with a guitar, but it is how things build from there that is the real charm. A groovesome backbeat keeps things moving, the bass providing as much energy as the drums themselves, harmonious vocals add gorgeous additions and the whole thing seems to build in texture as it goes along rather than weight, which is neat trick if you can do it. And do it they do! Without even breaking a sweat.

And from their they wander around the aforementioned genres. He’s in the Jailhouse Now is an upbeat, barn dance groover meets bygone music hall sound that seems to echo a simpler musical past, The Name She Gave is a gorgeous ballad which would be just as at home in the back room of a Dublin pub as around their own Philadelphia stamping ground and Alabama Bound puts a soulful spin on the sounds of the South.

Like all good music, genres become irrelevant anyway but if Americana is a term used to describe music which is somehow linked to the American experience, its history, its landscape, its culture and act as a soundtrack to the country itself, then this is as close as it gets I think.

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