Black Music Matters Festival

Demolition String Band

Pulling Up Atlantis – 2002 (Okra-Tone)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

CDs by Demolition String Band

On their second album, this New York City based group is more demolition thanstring band. That is to say, they are far removed from the old-timey sound that the term "string band" implies. While lead singer Elena Skye still plucks a mandolin on a fewtracks, the album is dominated by her vocals and the guitar of Boo Reiners. The songs, all but one written or co-written by Skye, cover a lot of ground from hard core honky tonk to almost new-wavish rock music - a stylistic range not entirely unexpected if one notes that the producer is roots rock veteran Eric "Roscoe" Ambel.

"Gone So Long" and "She Went Outta Town" are solid honky-tonk songs, "Dress Of Roses" and "A Career Of Loving You" are nice country ballads, and "Like A Prayer" and "Opportunity" are rockers that still maintain a strong country feel. It's on the last three tracks that the album drifts furthest away from country, sounding like things Sheryl Crow might do (and not when she's hanging out with country singers) Overall, however, there's a pretty high twang ratio by today's standards, and some good tunes for all tastes.