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Non-Prog CD Reviews

7 Walkers

7 Walkers

Review by Gary Hill

In many ways the main claim to fame of 7 Walkers is that longtime Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann is the drummer for this outfit. One might expect a musical connection, and there are definite links to the sound of The Dead. But this is much more roots rock, but even then, it’s not limited to that soundscape either. Willie Nelson guests on one track. Overall this is a good album, but it has a tendency to drag at times, and it also suffers a bit from a sense of sameness to everything. Still, there are enough shining moments to make it fall well into the good side of the spectrum.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
WYAT Radio / Cane River Waltz

With a little bit of accordion based waltz music, there’s a DJ talking over this. It’s very short and kind of silly.

Sue from Bogalusa
They take this out in a rather countrified jam that combines The Band with The Dead. There’s a bit of Elvis Costello on the vocals. It’s a fun tune.
King Cotton Blues
This slow moving, mellow blues definitely feels much like The Band and the Grateful Dead. It’s tasty and very cool. This is an extended song, weighing in at over eight and a half minutes in length. Willie Nelson guests on this number.
(For the Love of) Mr. Okra
A short instrumental, there’s some jam band in this, but also some serious quantities of jazz. It’s got a real retro sound and is quite tasty.
Chingo!
There’s a tasty groove to this number. It really doesn’t feel like the Grateful Dead at all, but it isn’t too far removed from that style of music. I can make out that Elvis Costello link here again, but it also makes me think of the mellower side of the original War. Whatever you call it, though, this is a tasty number. It’s slow and mellow, but there’s so much going on, and it’s all great.
Louisiana Rain
This starts very tentatively and has a space meets jazz kind of texture on the intro. That gives way to a real stripped down roots Americana element. This remains mellow and moves and progresses very slowly. The percussion takes a very prominent role and the track shifts to a bit of a psychedelic kind of element.
Someday You'll See (Prelude)
A slow moving instrumental, this is tasty, but not all that special. It definitely has elements that call to mind the Grateful Dead.
New Orleans Crawl
This is based on a slow Dixieland jam. It’s cool and seems like Louis Armstrong would have been quite at home on this beast.
Evangeline
An extremely mellow and quite pretty number, this is very slow moving and developing. There’s a bit of Asian element built into this. It’s really a bit too slow for my tastes. It seems like it doesn’t go anywhere for way too long, making this a song I’d consider a throwaway.
Hey Bo Diddle
This is cool. It’s got a lot more energy than the last track. It’s got a definite bluesy groove to it and is incredibly tasty. I like this a lot and would consider it one of the highlights of the set.
Airline Highway
Just a short little instrumental, this is very much a space meets percussion piece.
Someday You'll See
This is a bluesy bit of roots Americana. It’s a good tune, but nothing extremely special.
7 Walkers
The percussion features pretty high in the arrangement here, but this is almost progressive rock in some ways. It’s one of the more dramatic numbers on show and a lot of fun. This is a great way to end the set on a high note.
 
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