Written By: Mike Forristell
The Blind Owl Band, from Saranac Lake, NY, is getting ready to release their highly anticipated third studio album, Skeezy Patty. The quartet consists of Arthur Buezo (guitar, vocals), Christian Cardiello (bass), James Ford (banjo, vocal), and Eric Munley (mandolin, vocals). Don’t let this band’s traditional arrangement fool you, their music clearly explores and expands the boundaries of traditional folk music, and incorporates iconic elements of other genres as well. Boasting influences such as Jaco Pastorius, Bob Dylan, and The Allman Brothers, it’s no wonder that members of the Blind Owl Band want to, in their music, explore the grey area between rigidly defined genres. The band’s overarching sound, however, is still quite folky: a purposeful decision made out of respect for their origins.
Skeezy Patty doesn’t want to waste any time. The album’s first track Rot Gut Mama starts en media res, throwing listeners into an upbeat, folky, funk and blues infused jam accompanied by strong vocals reminiscent of Tom Waits. There is a nice sense of variation and movement within the first few songs that create an engaging listening experience, and although the band lacks a drummer the strong sense of rhythm is impossible to miss. The album’s fifth track, Waterhole, is a great example of the band’s mission to explore other genres without straying too far from their own roots. The song features an almost 2 minute long middle section that breaks down into a smooth flamenco-style groove. Here they do a great job incorporating and emulating the flamenco sound while keeping their strong folky overtones. The next track, Reloading, works to reel listeners in with its fuzzy, distant, introductory lyrics. The band’s minimal use of effects or electronics means that when they are used the results are much more meaningful. These sorts of tonal, thematic, and emotional changes all work together to keep you engaged throughout the entire album. Don’t miss out on all the boot-stompin’ fun, be sure to give it a listen!
Check out the bands website for tour dates and shows in New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Vermont over the next few weeks.