Where the Crow Don't Fly

Artist: Water Tower Bucket Boys

Produced by: Water Tower Bucket Boys

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            Some time ago, I reviewed a bluegrass album called Sole Kitchen by a group call the Water Tower Bucket Boys.  The music featured on this album was an amped-up version of bluegrass with a fun sound and catchy lyrics.  So, when I heard the band was releasing a new EP entitled Where the Crow Don’t Fly, I had to check it out.

            Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the Water Tower Bucket Boys started out playing bluegrass on street corners, eventually honing their sound into something quite welcome at square dances and bluegrass festivals up and down the west coast.  Comprised of Kenny Feinstein on guitar, mandolin, harmonica and vocals; Josh Rabie on fiddle, guitar, harmonica and vocals; Gordon Keepers on upright bass and Cory Goldman on banjo, guitar and vocals, the band decided to take their sound one step further, mixing the bluegrass with a little cajun, punk rock and blues.  The result was a unique sound that fans of bluegrass had never heard before.   

            Now, I have to be honest - the first song on the EP, the title track, was not exactly what I expected.  While the music was exactly what Water Tower Bucket Boys fans have grown to love, the singing was not exactly up to par with what I heard on their last album.  A small frown came to my face as I listened to that track, but it was cleared up right away with the next track.  Walkin’ the Road is a song about love grown sour, but despite the sad topic, the music is upbeat and fun. 

            The next song, Pilgrim, is a rather interesting sort of riddle.  It’s a travel song and the music reflects that tone, but the lyrics have you questioning just what the Pilgrim is, until you reach the end of the “riddle” and you discovery just what the song is all about: “I left the shore behind me, my soul is heaven bound / My wandering days are over since I climbed those golden stairs  / I am a pilgrim and I seek what is not there.”  There is a lesson to be learned by the next song, Easy Way Out.  The song reminds us not to worry about the hard path, because taking the easy way out will never lead to anything good.

            The EP winds up with a softer toned song, R Song, about a relationship that may be a bit on the forbidden side if I’m interpreting the lyrics properly.  I like the way the lyrics describe the quickness of time and the snatched moments these lovers have “in the cell phone light.”

            Despite my initial reaction at the first song, Where the Crow Don’t Fly is an excellent EP from the Water Tower Bucket Boys.  Their style hasn’t faded with the times and is a welcome respite from the traditional bluegrass of the times.  Hopefully, the boys will decide to take this EP a step further and create another full-length album.  I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next!


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