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Eskimo Brothers

Two – 2015 (Dance Monkey)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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It seems fitting that as the weather plummets to subfreezing temps there's an aptly named band to help warm up the frigid wintry blues. "Warm up" actually doesn't do the Eskimo Brothers justice. The Nashville honky tonk trio of David Graham, Tyler Boydston and Mark Robertson pile up every stick of wood they can find, douse it with kerosene and melt every igloo in earshot.

Their smart, catchy songwriting meshes with fiery musicianship that stokes up thoughts of classic country artists from the Kentucky Headhunters to BR5-49 to Waylon, Merle, George Jones and even a little John Mellencamp. From song 1 to 11, these guys just don't let their foot off the pedal.

The hard-charging "Ashes to Ashtrays" follows their rollicking ode to whiskey "Brown Liquor Blues," while the traditional "Sweethearts and Bars" shuffles with a sweet blend of guests Aaron Till's fiddle and Brett Resnick's steel guitar. "BBW (Big Bad Wolf)" is an angry, combustible bonfire of musical revenge - against a lawman who shot down their daddy.

Two covers make the cut on the Eskimos' sophomore release. Their version of Ernest Tubb's "Drivin' Nails in My Coffin" has a Dave Edmunds-Nick Lowe Rockpile-like vibe while "Fat Bottom Girls" is a fired-up version of the Queen classic.

"People Come and People Go" is straight from the Haggard "Ramblin' Fever" catalog, and quite appropriately, they end this conflagration of words and music with the foot stomper "Down in Flames." It actually leaves you hoping for a hidden bonus track... or two or three.

While there are echoes of plenty of other bands and artists, the Eskimos leave a distinct stamp on every song, which will warm the cockles of any country aficionado's heart - winter or summer.