Record Review: The Dang-It Bobbys

The Dang-It Bobbys
Big Trouble
Brooklyn, NY

“Heartfelt songs with sophisticated instrumentation and a bluegrass heart”

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While Brooklyn is overrun with hipsters claiming to be bluegrass fans (yet have no idea who Bill Monroe is), The Dang-It Bobbys blend genuine bluegrass instrumentation with indie sensibility to create a sound that is a unique strain of Americana.  Their sophomore effort, Big Trouble, reflects their talent as trained instrumentalists (both multi-instrumentalist Kris Bauman and guitarist Luca Benedetti studied classical jazz), although the songwriting is a bit inconsistent.

The album kicks off with the up-tempo cautionary tale “Middle Ground” and flows nicely into two ballads: “My Michelle,” a simple but lovely song about two lovers overcoming obstacles hand-in-hand, and “I Love You,” which features beautiful finger-picking and repeated lyrics, giving a dramatic and haunting effect.  But the wheels start to fall off in the middle of the album with the title track “Big Trouble,” about getting pulled over in Mexico.  The mariachi instrumentation and Spanish lyrics make it too kitschy to be charming.  The lyrical problems continue in “Heading Out,” which includes pedestrian songwriting such as “I don’t know how you feel/But I know you can’t deal/With it.”  Happily, though, the album takes a dramatic up-tick with fun instrumentals “Whiskey Strut” and “Roadkill Jerky.” (Muy Nice Records)

Produced by Kris Bauman and The Dang-It Bobbys

Additional Recording by Luca Benedetti at Tub Rat Studio, Brooklyn

Mastered by Patrick Lore, One Soul Studios NYC

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