TLDOTY : Review, Harvest Session
article by Frank Smith
videos by Steven Michael Holmes
A nice thing about writing for Mostly Midwest is that first word: Mostly. It is not “Exclusively Midwest” or “Strictly Midwest,” so when a group outside the Midwest comes along with some quality music, we like to let everyone know what we think of them.
The Longest Day of the Year is a group out of Boulder, Colorado. Priding themselves on a sound reminiscent of genuine Americana, and melding it with some modern techniques and lyrics, gives the group a unique and interesting sound. Most noticeable, however, is frontman t.Mule’s (aka Sean Lamborne) unavoidable vocals. From the first minute of their album “Turn Into The Ground,” t.Mule pulls the listener in with his grizzly, gravely crooning. Meshing country, blues, and American rock, t.Mule belts in a manner I can only compare to Tom Waits. It’s brutal and snarly, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound great with these songs and backed by this group.
Speaking of the group, t.Mule has some impressive firepower following him. With Darin Graber on drums, Brian McCosky on guitar and keys, and Dan O’Donnell on the bass, the quartet’s debut album makes them a group to watch in the future. Breaking barriers of traditional country, strong hints of bluegrass, blues, folk, and some straight up rock are abundant throughout the tunes. The group knows how to kick it in high gear, like the song “Bury Books with Bone”, wail out a wicked solo as heard in “On the Side of His Wooden Eye”, and break down in a slow, waltzy jam session for “Birds Fly South” (which should be noted for including some great harmonica work).
The Longest Day of the Year has put together a great debut in the album “Turn Into The Ground.” Not being a huge fan of the country genre, I could not resist tapping along to the tunes throughout. The bluesy feels, the rock riffs, the folky flourishes all culminated into a great number of songs, a collection that will stick around in my library gathering plays for a long time. Even though they aren’t in the Midwest, TLDOTY is one group whose debut album definitely warrants a pick up, and demands to be played through numerous times.
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