Cowbell – Beat Stampede CD (Damaged Goods)
There are a lot of ingredients on this album that point to a bright future for Cowbell. This duo is composed of Jack Sandham on guitars and Wednesday Lyle on drums. For those of you who don’t know, by the way Wednesday is a woman. This male/ female duo have had considerable national radio airplay already as well as having some prestigious touring under their belts and this before the release of their debut album. Not a bad start.
If you ask me, the buzz is well deserved. Given the expanses of a full album the band really explore their musical loves and this encompasses a lot – from honky tonk blues to fuzzy sixties pop to soul, and managing to do all this without sounding like a thousand different bands, it all has a distinctive Cowbell sound and stamp all over.
Opener tune and Damaged Goods single debut Tallulah is a dirty blues monster complete with a fabulous slide guitar, great stuff. Jack is the lead vocalist on most of the tracks and he has a really powerful soulful voice. Wednesday takes over the lead on a couple of track – “Love Got Me Down” is a two and a half minute blast of killer sixties garage that the Sonics would love to have written. Later on in proceedings “Castle Walls” sees Wednesday back on lead vocals, taking you on a haunting alt country journey. Cowbell and Damaged Goods records is the perfect pairing as basically any of these tracks would work as the perfect 7” vinyl single and that’s a format that DG seem dedicated to keeping alive. There really isn’t a weak song on here. This is a bit of a must for fans of Americana, from alt country to rockabilly to Mississippi delta blues, and for a debut album this is a really impressive piece of work. Tom Chapman