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Crushwater

The Cactus Storm EP

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing EP. It seems to be focused in the roots music movement in a lot of ways, but there is quite a bit of range here. The one thing that's present the most frequently is a real retro vibe. The disc seems like it could have been released in the 1960s most of the time. You'll find everything here from country leaning folk music to jazzy stuff and a lot more. The multiple voices bring a lot of charm, but the whole thing is just packed full of that particular commodity.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Intro
This is just a short acapella bit with multiple layers of vocals. It's both classy and classic, and a great way to start things in style
Fly, Fly, Fly
Speaking of classic and classy, this song definitely embodies those adjectives, too. It's more of a country based piece with a lot of folk music in the mix. It's energized and catchy. Yet it even wanders into some weirdness during the cool violin (or should I say "fiddle?") based instrumental section.
Blue Moon

Folk music is also on the menu here, but overall this is more of a jazzy piece. I like the interplay between the male and the female vocals. The violin this time brings some symphonic, classical leanings to the number. This thing even turns electric and rocking later. In fact, it's probably the most dynamic cut here. I don't think it's the most effective, though. It tends to feel a bit awkward at times.

Starry Skies
Some of the lyrics here are in Spanish. Musically this feels like something that would have been right at home in the late 1960s. There is a lot of folk rock built into it. The violin brings some real magic to the arrangement. The multiple voices also provide something special. The instrumental section later in the piece is among the best musical passages here, bringing some classical elements to a folk rock kind of construction.
California

Acoustic guitar serves as the backing for the voice on the first parts of this folk styled tune. The arrangement gets more layers of sound (and more voices) as it continues. This is another with some real classic musical textures. I really dig some of the soaring guitar and other textures that come in on the latter parts of the tune.

 
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