It has been a fair few years since the last time that we had an album from The Goat Roper Rodeo Band cross our eager palms and after all this time, we can safely say that they have still got raw talent oozing from them and they have crafted yet another country masterpiece.
Tall Grass is their latest and greatest foray into the murky world of alternative country music. I say murky here purely because when it comes to the music that The Goat Roper Rodeo Band produce, it’s a genre in which you almost can’t see the bottom. You can never really tell where their music will be headed to next; juxtaposing adrenaline powered bluegrass tunes like High Heel Blues against their softer and more atmospheric melodies like Desert Flower. These errant clashes of style come together with rough, craggy edges that belie the expectations that country might set for you and yet confirms to everything that you have come to expect from them over the years. Their rich and daringly sparse music is steeped with charisma and a rowdy nature that gives it a constant rumbling atmosphere, as if something is constantly bubbling beneath the surface.
Charmingly simplistic in their style and for a band driven primarily by banjos they are actually astoundingly elegant in the delivery of their songs. Tall Grass is a treasure-trove of stripped back and incendiary power that lays bare their feelings to the world. Through the use of their minimalistic sound the group focus you on the peculiar collaborations of sound that they have produced and you find yourself lost in their soft Southern drawl and their steel guitar lullabies that seem to creak out into the world. Sung with unique and inimitable harmonies that almost seem to ache for their art, The Goat Roper Rodeo Band constantly produce high-powered, decadent and effortlessly interesting music.
Tall Grass is a raw and powerful album with a veritable host of country tunes but all set off against a whole new realm of bluegrass, rockabilly alternative nuances and the result is an irrefutable success as their catchy melodies power out into the world and cement their name further on the world stage.
The Old Queens Head, Islington 18th
Blue Sky Cafe, Bangor 20th
Cafe #9 Sheffield 21st
81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool 22nd
Leith Depot, Edinburgh 23rd
The Grove, Leeds 24th
Carding Mill Valley 29th
The Old Square Tower, Portsmouth 30th
Review by Joe Knipe