The Corduroy Road: Love is a War

[7 October 2009]

By Sarah Moore

The Athens, Georgia by-way-of central Kentucky quartet the Corduroy Road blends bluegrass and old-time Southern rock for an Americana flavor that stands out from the rest on Love is a War. Drew Carman (vocals, banjo, harmonica) and Dylan Solise (guitar, vocals) layer rich, multi-part vocal harmonies, percussive strumming, and accent instruments such as fiddle and organ (from the likes of Andy Carlson, Nanci Griffith and Billy Bragg among others). The pair’s soaring guitars (e.g., “We Don’t Dream”) recall the Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic, while the band’s rhythm section, Elijah NeeSmith (bass) and John Cable (drums), rounds out the sound, enabling some modest rock ‘n’ roll. John Keane (Widespread Panic, R.E.M., and Uncle Tupelo) engineered the disc and adds the sustained twang of his signature pedal steel guitar (plus dobro, mandolin, guitar, and vocals, phew!) to 12 tracks. As the title suggests, the album involves a series of songs about love’s ups and downs. Just try not to swoon when Carman’s honeyed tenor professes, “I’m not much of a dancer / But I’d dance all night with you.”

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/112652-the-corduroy-road-love-is-a-war/