LA-based The Popravinas are going to bust out of their self-described confines as one of the best SoCal party bands if they aren’t careful. Guitarist and producer John Adair has added some pretty sweet country licks to lead singer and writer Eddy Sill’s blue collar, roots rock compositions. Almost Sick has a classic, honky tonk beat to drive home a twangy guitar and pedal steel sound. Up the Coast In San Francisco where “the days are as cold as your ego” captures the psychedelic angle to a California country rock number.
Willy Nilly doesn’t leave you wanting for any of the roots powerhouse tunes that filled the previous albums. Sofia (CMU) blasts through a lament about a former girlfriend who goes to one of Pittsburg’s scholastic stars. And the song finishes with a really nice sax solo that ties a nice bow around the package. Tim’s Basement takes a little bit of LA’s cowpunk sound to tell the story of, presumably, one of the bands favorite hangouts. See you at the bar, guys.
Fiddler Leif Karlstrom and mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz have spent a lot of time making music together, most recently with Front Country and before that Modern Mandolin Quartet. But the structure of a band didn’t lend itself to the improvisational things they wanted to explore, so they formed Small Town Therapy with a rotating cast of like-minded musicians. Their latest album is called Dreams And Circumstances.
The all-instrumental record covers a lot of ground, from the Irish reel style of Three Legged Cat to a runaway bluegrass number, McAlpine’s, to a more classically styled Dreams On A Pillow Bed. The project finishes with Hotel Kilauea, a very avant garde number that started with volcanic data from Kilauea turned into audio and used as a basis for an improvised song. When you’re ready to strike out in a new listening direction, Dreams And Circumstances will take you there.
About the author: I've actually driven from Tehatchapee to Tonopah. And I've seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night.