25 May 2024
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T-Bone - Album Review: Good n Greasy

16 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Here we have the debut album by Wellington-based Kiwi folk Americana act T-Bone, and mighty fine it is too. The quintet comprises Gerry Paul, Aaron Stewart, Richard Klein, Michael Muggeridge, and Cameron 'Dusty' Burnell, and they bring together an acoustic mix of zydeco, old-time, blues, bluegrass, and folk with Americana to create something which is incredibly enjoyable and full of depth. They also have avoided using any form of percussion, which means the music is always light and with plenty of space for all the instruments to be heard while the lush harmonies are clear and stress free. In some ways they make me think of Turkey The Bird, and when they come to Auckland in a few weeks’ time they will also have Hoop as support, as did TTB when I saw them last Saturday.

The guys have been rehearsing every Monday night for the last seven years, playing some music, eating food, and sampling wine, setting themselves up for the rest of the week and this has come through on the album as there is that easy companionship which only happens when musicians have been playing together a great deal and trust and relax around each other. While the bass is at the heart of all they do, providing the foundation, any of the other instruments could be taking the lead or providing the nuances, or they could be combined in a glorious whole, so the concentration is on the vocals. Seven of the songs are originals by Gerry Paul, two are co-written by the band and three are from the New Orleans, Zydeco and Cajun traditions. While Mumford & Sons are an obvious influence, Far North is a fine example of what Simon & Garfunkel would have sounded like in the very early days if they had more of a bluegrass style.

Their songs are incredibly catchy, with hooks a plenty and while they are obviously aimed at the folk and Americana market there is no doubt that they would also easily grace mainstream radio as there is so much joy within these, along with plenty of hooks. I can imagine them rehearsing in a circle so they can all see each other while they play, with everyone having a smile on their face as it is just that sort of album. They describe themselves as a mandolin playing ex-chef from the Far North, a fiddle playing wine importer from New Jersey, a Dublin-born spearfishing songwriter, a guitar slinging laboratory assistant from Taranaki and a gardening double bassist from Karori, and in many ways this tells you exactly what you need to know as this self-deprecating style comes through in this gorgeous collection of songs.

This is simply essential for any lover of acoustic music, as this combination of mandolin, banjo, guitar, fiddle, double bass, and harmony vocals with great songs is a delight from beginning to end.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About T-Bone

T-Bone is a Wellington based acoustic music group comprising Cameron Dusty Barnell, Gerry Paul, Aaron Stewart, Michael Muggeridge and Richard Klein. They play an eclectic mixture of styles and instruments within the Americana genre, drawing on their backgrounds in Old Timey, Bluegrass, Country, Cajun, Zydeco and Blues.

Cameron Dusty Burnell is multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. His playing is steeped in traditional American Roots music. He has toured New Zealand extensively over the last 2 years as a member of The Frank Burkitt Band, The Federal String Band, The Hardcore Troubadours and as one half of the duo Kim and Dusty.

Gerry Paul is an award winning songwriter, musician and producer. An in demand session musician, Gerry has performed and recorded with some of the world’s best known folk musicians including Grammy Award Winning Bluegrass Icon Tim O’Brien, Irish Platinum selling Accordion maestro Sharon Shannon, Indian Bansoori player Ravi Kumur (long-time member of Ravi Shankar's band) as well as his own band of ten years Gráda.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for T-Bone

Releases

Good 'n Greasy
Year: 2022
Type: Album

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