Country Folk With A Twist Or Two
Westrock: Welcome to the River
(Independent / 24 September 2021)
- Stream It On Spotify
Westrock's Welcome to the River covers familiar territory, with a polished sense of musicianship and sweet harmonies that enhance August Huckabee's melodic tenor. The result lies somewhere between roots and contemporary country, Americana and country rock.
The band released a string of singles through 2020, and Welcome to the River is their first full-length album. Their music is characterized by melodic songwriting, and some unexpected turns.
There are flashes of rock guitarwork from Dave Beegle that emerge from the country folk vibe, leaning into rock territory on Dirty Girl. It adds a modern dimension to the elements of traditional Americana.
Instrumentation is rich and layered, including mandolin, fiddle, and both acoustic and electric guitar. Dark Horse is a standout track, a slow, atmospheric ballad.
Life from a Lift Chair begins with familiar country idioms, then the band inserts interesting chord changes and rhythms and a jazzy instrumental break or two. It's typical of their inventive approach to the genre.
Cowgirl from Bruneau is a rollicking track with a story to tell, with lyrics lit up by a sense of observation and poetry.
Thematically, the release is heavily influenced by a sense of place - frontman August Huckabee grew up on a farm in West Texas and consequently has deep roots in the Texas Country/Red Dirt scene. Lyrically, the album is for those who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle.
Now based in Colorado, the band had this to say in a statement:
Westrock’s sound is high energy, hard-charging kick drum melodies with the folk-rock influences of the fiddle and mandolin. We’re here to celebrate the mountain tribe and get down with those who would rather be outside.
Dave Beegle: Electric Guitar & Bass, August Huckabee: Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar, Amy Ballinger: Harmony Vocal & Mandolin, Christian Teele: Drums, Enion Pelta-Tiller: Fiddle
Tracklist: 1. Dirty Girl; 2. Life from a Lift Chair; 3. Welcome to the River; 4. Dark Horse; 5. Quiet Place; 6. Hannah Jayne; 7. Alpine Start; 8. Cowgirl from Bruneau; 9. Hey Hey
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