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Old Salt Union - Old Salt Union (Compass Records)
From the opening this album bursts apart with glorious harmonies, upbeat melodies and that dancing western swing violin jazzy guitar interplay. Opening tracks Where I Stand and Feel My Love are so infectious and so familiar, slipping into your consciousness like faded comfortable jeans, you are convinced they are covers. The tracks are of course strong assured band originals, polished sparkling pieces of radio friendly pieces of Pop Country. So right that they feel fully formed and years old. The band powers through a tight, dazzling fast footed set of musicians. Bought And Sold is a slower more considered number, all rich harmonies and the warm keening of a pedal steel. This band can do furious and smooth with equal flair. The cover of Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al is a glorious frolic. It is to Old Salt Union's credit that they own it completely. The Graceland 80's fabourite is reborn completely as a Old Salt Union Country classic. Tuscaloosa perfectly marries finger picked banjo, John Brighton's fiery fiddle and those smooth harmonies. Flatt Baroque is a fast instrumental with the bands chops and prowess as a dance band well and truly on show. Gypsy trills on the mandolin, atmospheric handclaps and infectious music. Closer Here And Off My Mind is a sure footed fast tempo stormer. The band get a real groove going with some call and response vocals, kazoos and a kind of timeless hillbilly freak out on the fade. Big hearted music that whether slow or fast warms you and raises a smile.