Accident Clearinghouse - Written In Rope
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Written In Rope (OBT, 2000)

Accident Clearinghouse

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

This Midwestern clearinghouse of classic country and western swing is no accident. The Accident Clearinghouse sound is achieved with a minimum of fuss, and the basic trio of Quillan Roe (vocals, acoustic guitar), Mike Brady (vocals, electric guitar) and Jeff Tranberry (electric and acoustic bass, various percussion) are only sparingly assisted by extra instrumentation like banjo, pedal steel and fiddle. This no-frills approach lends credence to the traditional country feel of the band's material, but at times they end up just sounding a bit too polite, like BR5-49 on their best behavior.

The strongest moments are "Got To Move On" and "I've Been There Too," ones that lean toward a slap bass rockabilly sound - but the band travels well through some mellow western swing tunes, too.

Although their name sounds like it was lifted off some antique mercantile shop, Accident Clearinghouse have matured into a stellar purveyor of stripped down arrangements and maudlin songwriting, borrowing from the same sources as Rex Hobart, The Steam Donkeys and Robbie Fulks with equal aplomb. (Accident Clearinghouse, PO Box 41271, Plymouth, MN 55441-0271)

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