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Music Review - `Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Hippyness ` by The Midwest Homegrown Band (jm)

The Midwest Homegrown Band - Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Hippyness   (click on image to watch video)

23 May 2020

 

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In some other musical timeline, one where no one has heard of Soundcloud rappers, a band like Michigan-based The Midwest Home Grown Band - a classic barroom rock group that mixes in Americana and a slew of other genres – has the potential to play proper venues across the country, rather than be relegated to bars and tiny clubs, turning up the amps to be heard over the waitstaff serving chicken fingers. 

The band’s debut, Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Hippyness, is a mixed bag. The album is not served well by the opening and closing tracks, their two most mediocre songs here, but between are some pretty compelling, eclectic jams; a throwback to when bands cared little about image or being shoehorned into the musical flavor of the week. Part of the group’s appeal is in it’s two singers, Eric Greengartner and Amy Valdez, who take turns on lead vocals. The result, like The Eagles or Fleetwood Mac before them, the music changes depending on who happens to be at the mic. The contrast between Greengartner’s booming Tom Waits-like delivery and that of Valdez, who sounds remarkably like Margo Timmins at times, is almost heady. There are some questionable moments on the record, like on the earnest spoken word “God Bless Our Soldiers,” putting forth a sincere poem about appreciation for the troops as if it would be taken as some sort of controversial declaration, but there are also moments of pure fun here; like on the smartly written, “Don’t Call Me A Loser,” a song that could have just as easily come out of the early ‘70s Cosmic Country scene.  

Reminiscent of bands like Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes and Joe Grushecky, but with a bigger emphasis on folk and country, The Midwest Home Grown Band play a brand of rock that is sadly far unrepresented today. And while there may not be anything revolutionary about the music they make, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. 

 

Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complementary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here

 

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