By: Django Gold
Movers and Shakers are Americana, big time. In the midst of rough vocals, jangly guitars, four-on-the-floor drumming, and a shimmering organ, their music evokes late-night diners, country highways, pick-up basketball games, and fly-fishing. In a diverse selection of songs, the band captures much of the ambience of the Yankee experience, which is to say that they take a down-home musical thread and run with it.
The songs are highly atmospheric, with more emphasis on textures than on hooks. Take “Movin’ On,” a roadtrip rocker whose layered guitars and ballpark organ backing color a warm summer evening—very pleasant. Or “Take Me Home,” which combines a lo-fi punk aesthetic with boogie woogie piano through the verses and choruses, only to climax into a beautifully understated horn theme that floats on prairie winds. And then there’s the delicate mandolin and understated vocals of “A Goddamn Miracle,” an introspective jaunt that takes advantage of the spaces in between the notes.
Movers and Shakers aren’t solely Roots rock, though; they show off a number of odder pieces, such as the Tom Waits-y “Boom Splat,” which transitions through a raucous barroom blues and a Dropkick Murphys chorus, before breaking apart into a nifty musique concréte coda. Not entirely successful is “Lola,” an echo-y psychedelic dirge that overstays its welcome by more than a few minutes. But, such risk-taking aside, Movers and Shakers is a healthy slice of American pie, and well worth a listen.
Movers and Shakers perform Friday, November 6th at The Middle East Downstairs with Cassavettes, You Can Be A Wesley, and Quixote.
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