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Emerson Drive

Emerson Drive – 2002 (DreamWorks Nashville)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Emerson Drive

Emerson Drive follows in the footsteps of Highway 101 and Sawyer Brown, bands named after streets - in this case, the Emerson Trail from that hotbed of country and western music Western Alberta. Unfortunately, the nomenclature is the only thing E.D. has in common with those two talented bands.

The guys have an undeniably pleasant way of harmonizing, some naive enthusiasm for themselves ("Ours is the Mt. Everest of work ethics" bassist Jeff Loberg avers, even though these guys can't be bothered to find a better rhyme for the word "keeping" than "keeping" in "I Should Be Sleeping") and for the mediocre material they're saddled with, and not much else going for them. The liner notes and press kit shed some light on what the problem is. "I See Heaven" according to Loberg shoots for a "Goo Goo Dolls Feel." Among the guys' listed musical influences are Eric Clapton, Limp Bizkit, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. That sound you just heard was Lefty Frizzell rolling over in his grave. This is not a country band, these are the kind of bandwagon hoppers-on Alan Jackson warned us about in "Gone Country."

Perhaps a more appropriate name for this band would be Dead End.