CD REVIEW Thinking of You: Freakwater 

Freakwater's latest release, Thinking of You ,sent me away with a whole new appreciation of samba-laden bluegrass music. Don't let the stereotypical views lead you otherwise; this album is for everyone from all walks of life. While it can be argued that Freakwater's musical talents are not those that fit the average music listener, but rather a specific subculture of older-generation country music lovers, this album brings in the strings and vocals with brilliance, synchronizing all aspects of Catherine Irwin (guitars, vocals), Janet Bean (guitar, vocals) and Dave Gay's (bass) efforts. While reading the liner notes, I couldn't help but notice the number of different instruments that contributed to the making of this album and quite frankly, Freakwater has found a way to incorporate a sound that bleeds feelings of good times and bad times. After all, it is a honky-tonk album. Listening to the album, I couldn't decide whether I should head to the local tavern for a shot of smiley to drown my sorrows or whether I should stand and rejoice to the gospel of a good ol' Southern Baptist congregation. Listening to "Cricket vs. Ant" left me in a state of reflection of how it once was living in Louisiana and prompted this young lad to dump a little sawdust on the kitchen floor, grab the broom and imagine I was sweeping my southern angel right off her feet. The album avoids typical country terminology to express musical meaning, choosing instead to use metaphors that actually get the listener to stop and think about what the song stands for as opposed to simply swaggering along to a twang of befuddled sounds and words. While many artists in the country music genre have found it a chore to create anything sounding remotely original, Freakwater deserves credit for their use of metaphors that stir the wonder in your musical indulgence. Complete with fantastic cover art, Thinking of You is yet another turn for the better when it comes to down-home honky-tonk music, making it the material bluegrass lore is made of. If you're open to a different approach and can appreciate a fortified effort at bringing down the barn with old-school instrumentation, go see Freakwater when they play Neurolux in Boise December 2.

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