The Budrows - No Bad Whiskey EP
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No Bad Whiskey EP (Self-released, 2015)

The Budrows

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

While it may not be apparent on first hearing, The Budrows aren't your typical jug band. Although their primary instruments are a cigar box guitar, banjo, washboard and kick drum, it's more about the way they incorporate them into their musical palette that makes this trio sound so good. Few bands of this type offer the added benefit of flute, but here are again, that's just another reason why The Budrows tend to stand out.

Jason Farthing (gas can banjo. cigar box guitar, kick drum, tambourine), Macarena Rivers (vocals, washboard, percussion) and Jesse "El Gato" Boden (harmonica, flute, vocals) offer up the essence of Americana, without pretence, posturing or the need to add unnecessary accoutrements to their down home sound.

"No Bad Whiskey" follows on the heels of two full-length albums and a previous EP, but the freshness and spontaneity give The Budrows a calling card, which suggests that previous encounters aren't really necessary. They grab attention immediately with the title track, an up-tempo, rag-tag celebration of sorts designed to make their audiences hoot and holler with approval.

"Devil's On My Side" veers them towards swampier environs while keeping that freewheeling approach front and center. With "Prove Me Wrong," the threesome dial back that celebratory sound with a somewhat more deliberate stance, applying flute to good effect while offering some serious reflection all along the way. The set closer, "Never Comin' Back" offers a bluesy respite, with Boden's flute again taking the spotlight and adding a melodic flavor to the otherwise standard motif.

Granted, The Budrows aren't the most likely commercial contenders, but "No Bad Whiskey" is an apt introduction.

CDs by The Budrows

No Bad Whiskey EP, 2015

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