These Jamaica Plain guys have been kicking around for some time, but it took me a little while to actually get around to seeing them. Shame on me, as these gentlemen have created a very curious concoction for we the listener to take in. Their methodology is to take country folk songs, I’ve seen reference to Alan Lomax’s field recordings in association with them, and to use these songs as the springboard for all manner of experimental rock moves. Often the results end up sounding like country (talking Hank Williams on back here folks) tunes infused with Beefheart notions, and post-punk musical ideas. Reverence is given to the source material, lest you worry that this is some squinting tongue-in-cheek affair, and that reverence coupled with the applied killer grooves and skronk create a very compelling sound. This first full length by COWBOY BAND is 13 tracks deep, and came out pretty recently on LUNGBASKET RECORDINGS. “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum” does away with the strumming of chords completely, allowing for a completely free approach by the rest of the band, and it works, because the band is great, and so is the song. “Rambling Gambler” walks the line between actual reproduction of the folk song and a skittering, beautiful mess of falling apart rhythms. These guys are great live too, they seem to always be playing the Midway….

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