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Satisfied Mind

The Walkabouts

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Album Review

Like Yo La Tengo's Fakebook, the Walkabouts' Satisfied Mind is a definitive artistic statement masquerading as a loose-knit collection of acoustic covers. Sometimes a group's selection of cover material, combined with their ability to make the songs their own, winds up revealing as much about their craft as their original music, and such is the case here; mining the work of diverse artists like the Carter Family, Gene Clark, Mary Margaret O'Hara, John Cale, and Nick Cave, Satisfied Mind represents the purest evocation to date of the Walkabouts' aesthetic and its standing at the crossroads of country, rock, folk, and punk. By casting well-known songs in an entirely new light — Patti Smith's "Free Money" becomes an ominous waltz, while Charlie Rich's "Feel Like Going Home" is renewed as an epic dirge — the album makes explicit all of the implicit connections in the Walkabouts' work. By extension, it underlines the connections binding the spectrum of roots music as well; Satisfied Mind doesn't simply suggest that diverse sounds can coexist together — it proves that they always have.

Biography

Formed: 1984 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Despite their background (punk), geography (Seattle), and label affiliation (Sub Pop), the Walkabouts were anything but a grunge band; dark, haunting, and elegiac, their work instead sprung forth from the storytelling traditions of American roots music and the kinetic excitement of rock & roll. The Walkabouts were formed in 1984 by Chris Eckman and his brothers Curt and Grant, all of whom had previously played together in a number of punk-pop outfits, along with singer Carla Torgerson, a veteran...
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Satisfied Mind, The Walkabouts
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