Atomic Roots Orchestra Vol 2 – Greatest Invention Since Gravy | Album Review

Atomic Roots Orchestra Vol 2 –¬†Greatest Invention Since Gravy

Conjur Roots Records

Day Job View Records

12 songs time – 34:27

The way the liner notes and handouts go over the top as describing this conglomeration of authentic roots and blues men, you would think there is some exceptional musicianship within this CD.

It’s a well intentioned effort, but the music is perhaps one step above a casino lounge act. You know, those “iffy” bands that play right on the casino floor. Guitarist Job Striles is a step above that, but nothing like the “tasteful dangerous real guitar” player as described in the handout. The formula from song to song varies a bit from song to song. Most consist of group unison vocals, with one lone instrumental in “Estrellita”, a kind of pleasant island guitar tune that takes advantage of the rhythm section.

Elsewhere the vocal delivery and lyrics too often tend to fall into the corny category. “Rock Bottom” is an ok 40’s era swing song. If you want to be taken back to your sock hop days, you’ve come to the right place. The band’s version of the New Orleans chestnut “Junco Partner” gives a “white bread” vocal sound to a song that usually gets a cool delivery, such as by Dr. John and others. This version recalls Pat Boone’s “white wash” versions of black tunes from his day.

Throughout the recording there is good guitar playing for the most part and some good honking sax along with the requisite “tinkling” piano. Some nice bluesy guitar in places as well.

For those who want average music that recalls a bygone era, God bless you! After all the printed hype I was expecting more. Even Sean Spicer couldn’t put a more positive spin on this CD.

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