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Reviews: Rambler 454 ~ No Name Cafe|
Posted on Sunday, May 02, 2004 @ 11:52:16 UTC
Artist: Rambler 454
CD: No Name Cafe
Home: Cleveland, Ohio
Style: Country Bar Band Rock
Quote: "If the folks at the Fox Network ever turn King of the Hill into a feature film, these are the boys to handle the soundtrack."
By Jennifer Layton
The boys are back in town.
Rambler 454 (lead vocalist Dan McCoy, accompanied by the bassist and the drummer known only as Cooter and Jesse), are back with their second CD, No Name Cafe. And this time, Cooter is in charge of studio engineering. Kind of like putting Cheech and Chong behind some wheels at the Daytona 500. Sure, you could spring for Jeff Gordon and Ward Burton, but the results wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining.
By his own admission, Cooter’s work ethic is best described as “let’s get this in one take and go find a bar”. Works for me. The resulting CD sounds like I’m sitting on a barstool, watching them play live, false starts and all. It feels raw and spontaneous. I can hear how much fun these guys are having. In fact, it almost spoils the fun to analyze this music. I just wanted to toss my notebook and sit back and enjoy it. If the folks at the Fox Network ever turn King of the Hill into a feature film, these are the boys to handle the soundtrack.
Dan, Cooter, and Jesse rip right into it with the title track, an aggressive, foot-stomping throwdown of Budweiser-drenched guitar twang rock and wailing harmonica. From there, they go from more easygoing tempos of bad-news women to rollicking down-on-my-luck jams and everything in between. I hear more depth to Dan’s voice this go round. On the higher notes in “Shakedown,” he sounds uncannily like Foreigner’s Lou Gramm.
As in their previous effort, the music feels so good even when the lyrics are sad. On “I Hope You’re Lonely Tonight,” I like the image of the drunken troubadour coming through the door. These boys may play devil-may-care, but they do take their lyrics seriously.
The standout track is “Working Band,” which I flat-out fell in love with. This is pure honkytonk, guaranteed to elicit yee-haws from the audience. Loud, drawn-out, high-pitched yee-haws. The kind that startle bystanders into spewing their Pabst.
Rambler 454 is a solid, strong band of artists who make the music sound so effortless. It’s like they’re just having a party, and we’re welcome to listen in. Those of you along their tour stops should show up in person. And if Cooter decides he wants to take over bartending, just stay out of his way.
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