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Drum Hat Buddha

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Album Review

Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer would be impressive as solo artists, but together they have become the up-and-coming duo to keep an eye on. Drum Hat Buddha follows the critically acclaimed Tanglewood Tree, featuring the same dense, symbol-filled lyrics set to fairly straightforward arrangements. Multiple violins and a cello perfectly underpin "Disappearing Man," a quiet melody that evokes a new birth — a coming of age — with Grammer's lovely vocal carrying the weight of the old-world religious imagery. Carter, aided by Grammer's harmony, sings the magnetic "41 Thunderer," painting a tale of the old West in a few spare words. "Highway 80" is an upbeat country stomper in the same mold as "Hey Conductor" from Tanglewood Tree, while "236-6132" is a bouncy recollection of a lover's phone number. Most of these lyrics are very heavy, and their meaning isn't always obvious. "Love, the Magician" begins much like Townes Van Zandt's "Tecumseh Valley," only to blossom into a mystical story of runaway lovers. When the father finally believes he has cornered the lovers, a pair of lovebirds appear and fly away. All of these songs are supported by good instrumental work, with Grammer's violin adding atmospheric touches and Carter's guitar providing a tasteful acoustic backdrop. Overall, Drum Hat Buddha holds up well to Grammer and Carter's earlier work, though it is hard to match the quality of songs like "The Mountain" and "Walkin' Away From Caroline" from Tanglewood Tree. Fans will not get hung up over this. Instead, they'll concentrate on the great harmony, opaque lyrics, and acoustic sound they've come to expect from this exciting folk duo. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Best Lyricist in Music

There's never been a better lyricist in the history of music than Dave Carter. Bar none. He may have a peer or two in the better lyrics from songwriters like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell. I highly recommend all three of the albums he and Tracy did together: When I Go, Tanglewood Tree, and this one--which is called DRUM, Hat, Buddha (PLEASE fix the typo iTunes). There's not a bad song on them and quite a few great ones. And if you try them and think it can't get any better, check out the lyrics on Tracy's solo album (recorded after Dave's untimely heart attack), Flowers of Avalon. If you can resist a line like, "the hoary claw that holds it starts to tremble," (from Preston Miller on Flowers of Avalon) or "in the dark, in the dawn, with her wedding dress in tatters, she reveals the yearning desert in the country of her skin" (from Disappearing Man), then never mind. Stick to your pedestrian favorites. The music is simple and wonderful and sets off the amazing lyrics well. But if you have no love for folk music and, particularly, no tolerance for the broad area where folk music meets country, you won't like it.

Drum Hat Buddha

First, I hope iTunes can get around to showing the right title for this album. It is not "Dum, Hat, Buddha." It's one of the best albums by Carter and Grammer. Standout tunes include Tilman County, Disappearing Man, and 41 Thunderer, and the rest of them are very good too. Along with When I Go and Tanglewood Tree, this is part of the essential Dave Carter collection.

album name is spelled wrong

but its a good album


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

A marriage of mutual admiration, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer quickly gained the respect of the folk music community with Carter's amazing depth of songwriting and Grammer's expert accompaniment on fiddle, guitar, mandolin and violin. Carter, raised in rural areas of Texas and Oklahoma, has not traveled the standard route to a music career. Although having served stints in psychedelic rock bands, as well as being a classical pianist in piano bars, more than anything, Carter has used his experience...
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Customer Ratings