This is a CD that is going to grab you by the shoulders and shake you around for a bit, resettling your mind into a new locale on a wide-open range. It can seem serene and be flowing smoothly and in a blink erupt with a power and energy you never saw sneaking up on you. It is folky and then goes to almost violent tribal rhythms that display the sheer power of the music being generated. There are gypsy rhythms intertwined with African beats, drone, blues, and folk music. BabaJack is comprised of Trevor Steger on acoustic Dobro and wine box guitars, harmonica and vocals; Becky Tate vocals, drum, and stomp, with Aron Attwood on drums, bass, percussion and vocals (he also produced the disc) and they are joined by about five of their cohorts on various tracks on various instruments. The songs they unleash on the unsuspecting—they did write all of them—are well written and show the versatility of this group with their friends.
The singing, mostly done by Becky, is always full of emotion and very evocative and expressive. Though her voice comes very close to the level of surrender to the song, it is the musical rhythms that carry them. It is as much as what they don't play, the spaces they create and don't play into, as what they do play that creates the tension in the songs. Becky's voice has a gritty edge to it that gives it added texture along with Trevor's percussive guitar playing, particularly when he is using his slide. Though it might sound as if it could be hibildy gibbery it is a very cohesive disc that earns repeated listenings with its musicianship.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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