Wild -N- Swingin'
The second CD release by Sweet Sunny South titled Wild n Swingin' finds this Paonia, Colorado based bluegrass/old-time band once again showcasing some fine original material. Not content to rest on the laurels of their successful debut CD Bell Creek Dance Club, the band wanted to stretch out a little bit both stylistically & instrumentally this time around, and as a result, they've managed to keep things interesting for themselves as well as exciting for the listener. Songwriters Bill Powers and Rob Miller have penned a collection of songs that span a wide range of subject matter and emotion, such as the tender love song Twila, or the tortured yearning of the singer in Miller's Gonna' Leave This Town, with Shelley Gray's fine harmony singing seeming to echo the protagonist of the story. There's the story of a young man's rejection and finally, redemption in Powers Four Eyed Boy, and the saga of trying to scratch out a living from the land in Chuck's Blues. As is often the case with this band, we're treated to a liberal dose of humor, as in the swingy tribute to Shelley in Laura Ingall's Wild N' Swingin', or the surreal tale, told instrumentally, of a car chase between James Brown & Muhammad Ali in Cochetopa Ropadopa, which features some blazing 5 string banjo playing by special guest, Aaron Youngberg of the HIT & RUN Bluegrass Band, as well as a couple other surprise guests. In addition to the original songs, there's a nice selection of obscure and interesting fiddle tunes that Cory Obert brought to the band, reflecting the bands interest in less well-known instrumentals. One nice surprise that came out of these sessions at Colin Bricker's NFA Studio in Denver is the addition of some tasteful accordion playing by producer Mark Nanni on four of these songs including the Cajun fiddle tune Going To The Dance. Overall, this CD is another example of the adventurous and imaginative spirit that Sweet Sunny South bring to their music, and proves that this band has a great future ahead of them.