Thursday, October 21, 2010

Artist review: The Longest Day of the Year

The Longest Day of the Year -- The Longest Day of the Year [EP]
By Jeanie Straub

The voice of Tom Waits was described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding as if it were “soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." I’m left wondering: He means that in a good way, right? Because the lead singer of TLDOTY has an amazing voice -- very distinctive in the way that the voice of Tom Waits is: gruff, gravelly, a bit on the raspy side. You either love it immediately or it will grow on you quickly, but one thing for sure is that it is dramatic and strong and different. (Side note: The lead singer has been around the block in the local scene, so you may recognize his stage name of t.Mule.) As far as musical composition goes, TLDOTY appears to be onto something very cool with this EP, and it is very creative and fun and original at the same time that it recalls very traditional roots music. Manager Sean Lamborne explains why it works so well: “With influences drawn from the American roots music tradition, TLDOTY cooks together their vast experience in folk and country, indie-rock, and Canjun/zydeco.” He goes on to say that the band employs “unconventional arrangements on traditional country, roots, folk, and rock song structures to bring you their brand of fiery outlaw Americana.” Whatever it is, the blend put out by TLDOTY is in your veins working its magic with the first track of this five-track CD that covers, lyrically, “strong and strange storytelling”: sitting in the dark with the radio on, wishing you had your own car, when you have no one and nowhere to go; the time you were being hauled to jail and wondered whether you would be able to make bail; drinking bourbon after you burned the farm down. Stuff like that. And fabulous lines like this: “A hanging rope and a telescope / and all the kids are smoking dope.” Your love for TLDOTY will carry you until the last moment of track five.

Band members: t.Mule (guitar/harmonica/vocals/banjo); Brian McCosky (lead guitar/keyboard/vocals); Dan O’Donnell (bass/vocals); and Darin Graber (drums/banjo).

Sounds like: A more Americana version of Tom Waits

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