Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Greenhornes Put Four Stars In An Album

Patrick KeelerWhen most people were introduced to the Greenhornes in 2005, it came by way of the ultra eerie There Is An End. It was a collaboration with singer Holly Golightly, and used as the theme song for the movie Broken Flowers.

It was one of those rare times during a movie that people stopped viewing for a second to ask ... who's that band? Little did most of them know that Greenhornes weren't new. And they aren't a one-trick pony either.

The Greenhornes have been recording and touring (mostly touring) non-stop since 1996, when the band was formed in Ohio. Throughout their career, they've released more than their share of strong albums, including 2002’s Dual Mono.

They received mostly positively acclaim for their 60s-meets garage-meets-jams sound. It rightfully owes more than a nod to the best of the 60s bands, especially the Kinks, Yardbirds, and Rolling Stones. However, the real magic here is that this music creates a feeling that stands apart from an era when anything new and shiny grabs attention. It's timeless.

It’s still British Invasion meets America, but there’s more diversity and cohesion.

On **** (yes, symbolizing four stars), the Greenhornes have come together for their first album in eight years. Everything that made the band great is still in evidence, but there is a maturity of sorts that gives them a more cohesive sound. People familiar with the Yardbirds' vibe will notice a change in focus. The Greenhornes are much more devoted to melodies.

The band is also stripped down from a five piece to three. This trio includes singer/guitarist Craig Fox, bassist Jack Lawrence, and drummer Patrick Keeler. Two-thirds of the trio—Lawrence and Keller—also served as the rhythm section to Jack White’s Raconteurs.

They (Keeler and Lawrence) also took time out to play on Loretta Lynn’s brilliant Van Lear Rose CD, produced by White. Any time White takes an interest in a band and its musicians is a good thing. You'll agree. Just listen to ****, which was released by White’s Third Man Records, and this special segment produced by Rolling Stone.

The Greenhornes have always been strong, but this CD is full of melody and song crafting that is far superior to previous efforts. The band might say it feels the same, but the impact off the stage is far more enduring.

Standouts on **** include the bold, rich flavor of Saying Goodbye and some killer harmonies within Need Your Love. Cave Drawings is also especially good as 60s psychedelia played the way everyone wished it was then. Let's just hope they don't wait another eight years to get back in the spotlight because **** has it all — jams, ballads, melodies, and garage rock.

The Greenhornes’ **** Turns In A 7.0 Straight Up On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Always on the go, the Greenhornes are on tour now. They have dates around the corner at the infamous Troubadour (Los Angeles), followed by stops in San Francisco, Oregon and then Illinois. You can keep up with them on Twitter and Facebook.

You can find **** by The Greenhornes on ITunes. It is listed as 4 Stars on Amazon. And yes, the image above is Patrick Keeler pressing a record. It doesn't get better than that.
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