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Music Review - `Fantastico` by Mitch Webb and the Swindles (dmac)

Mitch Webb and the Swindles - Fantastico  (click on image to watch video)

 2 December 2019



Mitch Webb and the Swindles’ album Fantastico can be described as a fairly complete Southwestern music sampler. It opens with its flamenco guitar-y instrumental title track, “Fantastico,” and closes with the rocker “Can’t Stop.” In between, there are songs about death, jail, and crime. All performed with a sincere love for the wide world of Southwest sounds.

One titled “New Bordertown,” speaks of border life along with all-star help from Augie Meyers (of Sir Douglas Quintet) on Farfisa. Although not strictly a country music album, “I Was Wrong” is nevertheless a slow, sad country song. At times, the album is a little bit like a cowboy movie put to song. In fact, the album cover looks like the hard liquor supply at a saloon. Yes, the word ‘retro’ describes much of this music, but it’s retro in the very best sense of the term. If someone created an album of Billy Ray Cyrus “Achy Breaky Heart” knockoffs, for instance, that would also be retro music – in the absolute worst sense, though. Webb and his Swindles reach back, and only dust off the truly good stuff, the same way someone might pick and choose just the quality liquor available at a bar. 

One of the album’s multiple songs that touch upon death is called “Big C.” The ‘big c,’ usually refers to cancer, and Webb sings about cancer as though it was the Grim Reaper. Even with its easygoing groove and wonderful electric guitar solo, this is nevertheless a disturbing topic for a song. 

Singing cowboys didn’t sing about cancer (at least I don’t ever recall hearing of ‘em broach the subject), and “Big C” is one large hint that this is, in truth, a modern-day album. If you’re anything like Mitch Webb and the Swindles, and you have a deep appreciation for Americana music’s roots, you’ll likely add an exclamation mark after writing its title Fantastico.




Music Reviewer - Dan MacIntosh


Dan MacIntosh - Dan MacIntosh has been a professional music journalist for 30 years and his work has regularly appeared in many local and national publications, including Inland Empire Weekly, CCM, CMJ, Paste, Mean Street, Chord, HM, Christian Retailing, Amplifier, Inspirational Giftware, Stereo Subversion, Indie-Music, Soul–Audio,, Country Standard Time and 

To Read All of Dan's Reviews, Click Here





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