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Al Scorch and the Country Soul Ensemble - Tired Ghostly Town

  by Andrew Carver

published: 14 / 11 / 2012

Al Scorch and the Country Soul Ensemble - Tired Ghostly Town
Label: Hewhocorrupts
Format: CD


Frenzied and imaginative Americana on debut album from Chicago singer-songwriter and banjo-player Al Scorch and his band, the Country Soul Ensemble

Chicago banjoteer Al Scorch starts his debut ‘Tired Ghostly Town’ on a frenzied note; if he were playing the high-speed hoedown of ‘Board Up the Windows’ at a country dance there would be be a coronary or two. Those not fond of heart attack old-timey music will be relieved to hear that the 10-song album doesn’t always set its fiddles on third gear; although the following tune ‘Chicago’ is pretty brisk, starting with a sedate two-step and ending up in a panic. There is also the sedate ‘The Hearse Driver’, with some appropriately mournful woodwind and organ jabs. Scorch’s tour through ‘Hard Times’ ‘Working Dream’ (more like a nightmare) and the title track make it plain that all is not well in the Windy City, even ‘Miss Rosie’ is no love ode, but a plea to flee from advancing hostile forces. In sum, ‘Tired Ghostly Town’ is a bit Balkan, a bit Old Weird Americana, a smattering of punk and perhaps some Deadly Snakes. There seems to be more than a few acts there nowadays mining tHarry Smith’s ‘Anthology of American Music’ for inspiration, and a few do it better than Scorch and Co., but not many do it at such a breakneck pace.

Track Listing:-
1 Board Up the Windows
2 Chicago
3 The Hearse Driver
4 Miss Rosie
5 Working Dream
6 Giant Wars and Dinosaurs
7 Hard Times
8 Movie Picture
9 Two Flags
10 Tired Ghostly Town

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