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Burlinson Whitten Trio

Running Through Museums

Review by Gary Hill

With Running Through Museums Burlinson Whitten Trio have released an album that should please fans of indie rock, but also those whose tastes run closer to classic rock. Certainly the ties to modern indie music are all over this, but truly it focuses more on the end of that sound that was rooted in classic rock. Wherever one sees this falling, though, it’s a great disc that has a wide range of sounds. Most of the material here is extremely strong.

Burlinson Whitten Trio have produced an album that’s both creative and familiar in many ways. It’s also extremely entertaining and satisfying. This group should have a great career ahead of them if they keep focused in this general direction. They are talented songwriters and performers.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Red Rocket Ship

The guitar driven sound that opens “Red Rocket Ship” feels a bit like the Rolling Stones. As it works into the vocal section, though, it has a space rock and psychedelic element. Echoed textures call to mind Hawkwind or The Rolling Stones’ psychedelic era. It’s quite a cool tune with some interesting twists and turns.

Surprise (Another Year)
“Surprise (Another Year)” has more of a pop rock sound to it. There are hints of modern indie rock, but it still has a lot of psychedelia in the mix. Although, the psychedelic sounds this time around are closer to The Byrds, some of the vocals feel a bit Beatles-like.
Gandhi & the Midnight Cowboy
In a lot of ways “Gandhi & the Midnight Cowboy” feels a lot like something from the early period of David Bowie’s career. Yes, there are similar sounds here as heard on the first couple pieces, but Bowie really permeates the tune. The outro, with its melodic guitar solo, even calls to mind The Grateful Dead.
Walking With Thoreau

“Walking With Thoreau” has more of a folk rock sound to the opening sections. It rocks out more beyond the first verse, but in a lot of ways this is the most straightforward number to this point.  There is a classic, retro sounding organ solo in the tune followed by a guitar solo that’s a bit like something from the Allman Brothers. It turns soulful later in the piece and the vocal arrangement, along with the driving music, is exceptional.

Dharma Bums
“Dharma Bums” is set in a folk inspired classic rock style. It feels like something that could have come out during the soft rock period of the 1970s. Still, it’s also got some progressive rock leanings, particularly on the instrumental section, bringing in comparisons to The Strawbs and other folk inspired progressive rock bands.
Waiting on You
This has a more straightforward hard rock sound, but there are elements of Hawkwind-like space rock on some of the musical over-layers.
My Darling Surfs On
There is a big change with “My Darling Surfs On.” The cut is a balladic one with a lot of country music added to the mix.
February
While “February” is another tune that feels heavily tied to the soft rock of the 1970s, there is also a definite REM vibe to it. It’s a very pretty and powerful piece of music.
That Ghost Is You
“That Ghost Is You” brings back some of that country music vibe. In some ways it feels a bit like Roy Orbison. The guitar solo on this piece is particularly country oriented.
Another Bus 'a Comin'
This is arguably the most straightforward tune on show here. It’s very much a slice of Americana. It’s got an especially tasty guitar solo.
Lost In a Daydream
Another cut based in that folk influenced rock sound, “Lost In a Daydream” fits tightly alongside singer songwriter music and classic rock.
Well-Read Girl

If a weakest of the bunch tune has to be chosen, “Well-Read Girl” would get the nod. It’s not a bad number, but it’s just sort of lackluster. It is set in the same mellow rock sound, but just doesn’t have a lot to grab the listener or stand out.

Dig a New Scene
With the closer, “Dig a New Scene,” they bring things back in style. It’s got a roots rock, Lou Reed kind of feeling in some ways, but also sees the return of the psychedelic elements. It’s a great way to end things in style.
 
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