Bloodshot Records ………

An acquired taste

Debuting over 25 years ago and now into their eighth album, although the first for ten years, Freakwater clearly must have a lot going for them, but my overriding sentiment on listening to SCHEHERAZADE is that the genre of alt. country has clearly changed from my understanding of it for this music to be categorised as such. The lead players Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin are Kentuckians and there is a bluegrass feel to a couple of the later tracks and there is some gorgeous guitar playing throughout.

Certainly, most of the first half ofthe album reinvents the termnoirand is best illustrated

by the choice of What The People Want as the opening track. It is a song about a woman being murdered and thrown down a well. The following two songs The Asp & The Albatross and Bolshevik And Bollweevil are way too obscure for me.

After more morbidity on track six, Take Me With You, which at least exhibits that bluegrass music can be taken at a slow pace, the material does get more country. Number One With A Bullet, a song made for the Honky Tonks, and with a featured intro and accompanied throughout by a memorable pedal steel Memory Vendor are my picks from this whole set. Although you are still not very far from the enigmatic, with Skinny Knee Bone way beyond my comprehension.

Maybe the clue is in the album title, the legendary Queen and storyteller ofThe Arabian Nights, so expect strange, but having not yet acquired a taste for Freakwater I have to say best leave SCHEHERAZADE to Rimsky Korsahov. Paul Collins


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