Artist Spotlight

Review: The Loomis Fargo Gang, “The Prettiest Shade of Blue”

No Comments 10 November 2013

Review: The Loomis Fargo Gang, “The Prettiest Shade of Blue”

“For any fans of Country Rock, Alt Country, Folk or just plain ‘ol Country, I highly suggest listening to this album from The Loomis Fargo Gang. It is as American and authentic as it gets.”

Artist: The Loomis Fargo Gang

Album: The Prettiest Shade of Blue

Genre: Alt Country / Americana

RIYL: Band of Horses, Jack White, Neil Young

The Loomis Fargo Gang

Over the last 15 years or so, more and more respect has been paid to Country Rock and Americana as musical forms. Although Country Rock in particular has been around since at least the late 60’s when pioneers such as The Byrds, Neil Young and Poco were doing it (and it carried into the 70’s with The Outlaws, The Eagles a number of Rolling Stones songs and more), there was a serious interest developed in the mid-90’s. It’s amazing to think that a band like Wilco could become so huge doing what they do, but it’s also quite wonderful that a larger base of music fans were willing to hear such a style as Alt Country as it became known.
 
Now, in 2013 hearing an act like Virginia-based The Loomis Fargo Gang makes total sense. Make no mistake here-these guys wear their hearts on their collective sleeves.
 
The Loomis Fargo Gang’s album The Prettiest Shade Of Blue is an engaging listen right from the opening track “Seventeen White Azaleas” (how can you not love that song title?). “Seventeen White Azaleas” is awash in reverbed vocals that echo along with acoustic guitars quietly sitting there, and haunting melodies. As the song develops, there are time changes around the three-minute mark that pick up the pace with some percussion and acoustic strumming. Some pumping organ fills also find their way into the mix. “Seventeen White Azaleas” is a dreamy, trance-inducing track and a lovely opener. Sounds are reminiscent of Band Of Horses in particular.
 
“Trampoline” is a slower tune, wistful and longing and full of imagery of the South on a warm, summer day. And, what could describe those same feelings better than a song titled “Hazy Lazy Blue”? This tune has an excellent vibe that really captures the essence of what this band and this style of music are all about. The vocals and the arrangements are a joy.
 
One of the finest tracks on the album is the closing instrumental track “Plantin’ Blueberries”. Short, sweet and simple, this acoustic-based piece is as good as any of the other songs on here. “Plantin’ Blueberries” is only about two minutes long but it is a very well-spent two minutes. It’s hard not to picture a day in the Appalachian mountains.
 
“Sugar Cane” makes use of reverb in regards to the vocals once again, and the harmonies and instrumentation work very well. The song concludes in a strange wall of noise (something Wilco might do comes to mind) which is a tad offsetting but rather effective actually. The short ditty “Birds” is another example of the simpler ways of writing that can be as effective as anything complex. In fact, many of the songs on the album take that approach.  
 
When it comes to cuts such as “Tootsie In The Breeze” and “She Will Be Mine” The Loomis Fargo Gang really do their thing to perfection. These songs are pure Americana/Folk with Alt Country tossed in (whatever that means these days) and that twangy, sound and style permeate. “She Will Be Mine” is a gem, and lines like “Give me time, she will be mine, before she ever knew, she will be mine” are sincere-sounding. It’s almost like you can picture a girl walking past this guy in some bar down South and he’s sitting there telling his pals-she will be mine, and here’s why! Hints of piano and what sounds like fiddle and perhaps some accordion give this tune the authentic feel that is very appealing.
 
For any fans of Country Rock, Alt Country, Folk or just plain ‘ol Country, I highly suggest listening to this album from The Loomis Fargo Gang. It is as American and authentic as it gets. 


The Loomis Fargo Gang website:
http://www.theloomisfargogang.com/

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