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Mallett Brothers Band - Lights Along The River (2015)

29-04-2015, 19:38
Music | Country | Rock

Mallett Brothers Band - Lights Along The River (2015)

Artist: Mallett Brothers Band
Title Of Album: Lights Along The River
Year Of Release: 2015
Genre: Country/Rock/Alternative/mericana
Label: Self Produced
Quality: MP3 320 kbps
Total Time: 51:46
Total Size: 119 MB

1. Late Night In Austin (4:34)
2. There Are No Rules In This Game (4:00)
3. Sunny Day (3:44)
4. Les Pauls (3:57)
5. Don't Mind The Morning (3:14)
6. Tennessee (3:38)
7. Rocking Chair (3:34)
8. Lights Along The River (3:00)
9. Sam Wood (5:33)
10. Coronado (3:39)
11. The Irene (5:11)
12. Look Me Up When You Can (4:01)
13. Tip Up (3:36)

The title of The Mallett Brothers Band’s fourth studio album ‘Lights Along The River’, is an infinitely appropriate one. The thirteen-track offering was recorded in a remote location off the coast of Maine that is only accessible by boat (Sebac Lake in Piscataquis Country), not far from where the various members of the band call home. But these are no ordinary musicians inspired by the Wintry and watery surroundings of the upper northern states, and they have far more country credibility than many of their decidedly more folky peers. The six-piece formed in 2009 and since then have released three full-length albums that were extremely well-received, but it’s their touring record that has enabled them to build the underground fanbase that fiercely supports them to this day. They have supported the likes of Blackberry Smoke, the Turnpike Troubadours, Charlie Robison, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, the Josh Abbot Band, and 38 Special, providing just a glimpse into the variety of audiences that they appeal to, incorporating traditional country, Americana, southern rock, alt. country and more into their fluid sound.

From the beginning of ‘Late Night In Austin’, the opening track on ‘Lights Along The River’, it’s clear there is something intended for everyone on this record, and the band are liberally drawing influence from all corners of the country (both in terms of geography and music). ‘Sunny Day’ is an alt. country jaunt with an infectious, foot-tapping beat, a gloriously twangy soul and a wonderfully sing-a-long chorus that makes it one of the album highlights; meanwhile ‘Rocking Chair’ is clouded in a sea of gritty guitars, Luke Mallett’s heavily smokey vocals and a blues rhythm that gives some idea of their range and versatility as musicians, artists and crafters of song. Throughout they choose to deftly defy pigeon-holing by always straddling the blurry divide between musical styles, side-stepping becoming too liberal with their inclusion of multiple sub-genres by holding it together with particular instrumentation and grounding in some kind of country-rock-folk hybrid. They opt for a swampy, dobro-infused stomp on ‘Sam Wood’, while closer ‘Tip Up’ gets the killer rock ‘n’ roll treatment for a true party vibe, and the title track tumbles along the highway in a pretty folk/Americana number that is just rough enough to retain their sense of the “alternative”.

The addition of Matt Mills to proceedings for this record is also a great choice, one that adds to the wonderful musicianship on offer. Providing his services on vocals, banjo, acoustic, electric and steel guitars, he joins the two original Mallett brothers Luke and Will (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, and vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, piano respectively), in addition to Wally Wenzel (vocals, electric guitar, dobro), Nick Leen (bass guitar), and Brian Higgins (vocals, drums, percussion). The sheer list of instruments that they play collectively is rather impressive; not to mention that with the exception of Nick Leen, they all have multiple roles within the group, meaning that they are entirely flexible when it comes to producing varied arrangements, both in the studio and live on stage. If that wasn’t enough, they pull in their father David Mallett to provide mandolin on the title track, and Molly Mallett for vocals on ‘Coronado’.

And for those who aren’t family members, the chemistry and connection is just as tight-knit. Although it can be hard to tell on a studio recording, there are so many delicately layered parts on each track it would take a long time to record them all separately if they weren’t all in tune with each other, and this entire album came to complete fruition in just ten days. In a world where almost everything about the music making, performing and marketing process can be faked, this band are as hard-working, genuine and authentic as they get. We feel their truth coming through on the beautiful storytelling of ‘Don’t Mind The Morning’ and their uncontainable joy and energy in ‘There Are No Rules In This Game’, and both sides are at once intrinsically connected and at near opposite ends of the spectrum. This is an album full of heart and soul and 100% made for their dedicated fans, so if they’re right, and there are no rules in this game, then at the very least they’ve landed upon some pretty sound guidelines for making a great record. Because this is one.

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