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Tarbox Ramblers

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Album Review

A longtime Boston club favorite, the Tarbox Ramblers show why on this very impressive debut. A true musical amalgam, the Ramblers play an intoxicating hybrid of pre-World War II black and white hillbilly songs, blues, and gospel music. Their instrumentation consists of fiddle, string bass, wildly thudding drums, and electric slide guitar played in open tuning, but that only begins to scratch the surface of the band's wonderfully eclectic sound and style. Singer/guitarist/leader Michael Tarbox's vocals are anguished and bluesy without ever once being mannered, gliding from hillbilly to ancient blues effortlessly. The band swing when the tune calls for it, and play like cavemen when needed; this is the type of record that'll make you get up and dance. If you're looking for a roots music album that's got something really different to offer, this is it.


Genre: Rock

Years Active:

Bridging the racial gap between pre-Word War II roots music, the Tarbox Ramblers draw equally upon early 20th-century blues, hillbilly, and gospel. The Boston group's original sound, which emerges not only from tradition but from primal alt-rock energy, consists of leader/singer Michael Tarbox's open-tuned slide guitar, Johnny Sciascia's upright string bass, Daniel Kellar's fiddle, and Jon Cohan's tribalistic drums. Lighting up their hometown and abroad with their acclaimed live shows, the iconoclastic...
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Tarbox Ramblers, The Tarbox Ramblers
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