Wow, how do we even begin to describe this group Wicklow Atwater? Blazing strings and heart thumping bass, vocals on fire, yet smooth as a fine backwoods moonshine. Does that work?
All five members of the band have known each other since childhood. Raised in Southern California in Atwater Village, they have stayed true to each other and to their goals of making music that would ignite the heart of the country to truly live again. Growing up in the same neighborhood allowed them to form a life long bond and that bond has become something extraordinary. It has made them one of the most talented bluegrass groups, I believe in the industry. There is never a dull or gloomy moment on this album and to be honest I don’t think there ever could be.
Howling banjo’s give us a great intro to “Closer To Me” and the lyrics are absolutely out of this world. I rocked, I rolled, I tapped my feet and danced a jig. I love his vocal inflection on the lyrics and the harmonies are tight and on the money.
I say bluegrass but I say it lightly. Placing them in to any one genre would be a horrible thing to do. They have a range that far exceeds what you would find with just bluegrass. It is old style country, a mix of folk and even a hint of blues. Their music is all original and you can tell it’s expressed with a cross between funk, punk, bluesy jazz, bluegrass/folk, time jumping authenticity.
“Inside You” The line “I just want to be inside your head again” is the root of the song. The play on words could have several meanings but it’s in her thoughts where he wants to be not just a physical thing. Great music, great picking, unique group of musicians. Enjoy “Inside You” here.
I loved all the songs on the album but when I got to track #4 I fell even more in love with “ Sleeping Through (the good parts of the day)”, it’s a bit slower and you really get a good feel for the true talent in this group. The melodies, the harmonies, the instrumentation and the entire scope of the whole album is pure down to earth bluegrass/folk music at it’s best.
I loved the mandolin, the harmonica, the smooth strumming of the guitar. There’s not a bad note anywhere in the entire collection.
Fast, flaming, racing and just plain wide open is what you get with “Blazer’s Breakdown”, the name is synonymous with the title of the song. It’s blazing.
At times it seems like a wild run on sentence but the authority and mastery of the writing, the instrumental performances, and the story that flows within each song makes up for the wild and crazy, wide open, ninety mile an hour storm of fiery jubilance.
The following is a short video of the group telling you a bit about the making of their music and the thoughts behind how they work. Awesome stuff. Enjoy “I Want To Be Your Man”….
Members of the band include Billy Lupton on Mandolin & Vocals, Nick Lupton on Guitar, Jessica Alvillar on the Violin, Gilbert Montoya on the flaming Banjo’s & Vocals and rounding out this talented group David Archey on Harmonica & Vocals. The album was produced by Phil Rohr with Prime Rib Productions. This is a 17 track collection of some of the most amazing Americana/Roots bluegrass you’ll find anywhere.
To close and sum up this writers review I would bring all the above and put it into one word that describes them without any doubt, Avanguard. Wicklow Atwater is one of kind.