I have been following Sam Doores & the Tumbleweeds for quite some time now, but still have to buy their first album Holy Cross Blues. So this Daytrotter session will have to do for the moment, but it’s a mighty fine one in any case.
None of the four tracks on here does disappoint: I already was familiar with the first one on this session (from the band’s Reverbnation/Facebook music player) Throw Another Cap On the Fire , it’s reproduced here immaculately. It’s a swinging Country & Western tune dominated by a steel guitar, with a harmonica solo and a super-catchy hookline. The lead vocals are by Riley Downing, who’s got a husky, smoky voice of the Tom Waits variety (although not quite as gruff), very much suited to the Cowboy lyrics of the song (‘as I stared out ‘cross the prairie searching for what I can’t say I know, Bourbon won’t you warm my soul like sunshine’).
The next song Alligator Shoes is a slowly shuffling and slightly brooding track with a spooky guitar solo. Alligator Man (the band are from New Orleans, in case you haven’t guessed so already), in contrast, is more up-tempo and upbeat with the happy fiddle providing the outstanding musical flavor – it’s short, snappy and could surely be a first rate feelgood hit – in a backwater world with good taste at least.
I Got Found is a slow song steeped in gospel stylings and I can’t help thinking about the chain gang scene at the beginning of the Coen Brother’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? listening to it – it should also be a sure highlight in their live set.
With this short 4 track session Sam Doores + Riley Downing & The Tumbleweeds prove to be an outstanding and highly original new act on the Alt-Country scene, with a sound clearly informed by their hometown. And, as should also be evident, a highly entertaining live act.