Black Market Tango – Cosmic Sex School Records
It’s been 10 years since Bloodkin has made noise, but Bandmates Daniel Hutchens and Eric Carter appear to have lost zero momentum with their latest feast of ear-food known as Black Market Tango. In the face of the attention-span-challenged world of today, Bloodkin has doubled-down on the album crowd with a double album of their own at 15 songs, reminiscent of The Jayhawks, Buffalo Tom, and The Tragically Hip’s better efforts. Raw, unfettered, and woody drum and guitar tones complement the ride throughout with the sublime and transcendental pedal steel, dobro, and guitars of John Neff, and the backing band: Jon Mills (bass), Aaron Phillips (drums), Jay Gonzalez (organ), and Ansley Stewart (backing vocals). The real greatness of their power is the way they seem to blend just the right dosage of subtlety, delivering the songs even more weight and gravity.
“John Coltrane in Nagasaki” has a distinctly jammy mouthfeel, recounting Coltrane’s heroic attempt to “re-tune the molecules in the atmosphere above Japan to induce the great healing after the fallout from America’s bombing in WWII.”
“Transistor Radio” has an upbeat and refreshing Jayhawks flavor that contrasts pleasantly alongside the dim-lit feel of the rest of the songs, as does “Her Blues,” serving up a refreshingly Jeff Lynne – meets – country flavor.
“Trashy” highlights the overall agility of the record, recorded live in one take, delving presently into the stories behind every scar and crease in the faces of the downtrodden with lines like “Sometimes when we’re low down we’re levitating too,” highlighting the freedom of having more with less.
“Cantina Fever” makes a great road trip companion anywhere, especially wide-open spaces, warm Mojave starry nights, or maybe just an empty dive over a solitary pint.
The album closes out with the long-play 12 minute “God’s Bar” nailed in one take. Daniel continues, “This song is about some kind of fascination with the supernatural and the spiritual; looking for God but aware devils hang out in the same neighborhood.”
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