|Pickin' & Sinnin', The Stumbleweeds
Rawk Records 002, 2001
The Stumbleweeds are an authentic 1950s-style honky tonk country and hillbilly boogie band out of Boston. Featuring powerhouse female vocals from Lynnette Lenker and red-hot playing from New England's best: Tom Umberger, Red Soares, Slappin' Mike and Kimberly Rullo. The members were brought together by a mutual love of roots music. The boys have penned nine great new songs for The Stumbleweeds' full-length 12 track debut CD, entitled "Pickin' & Sinnin'", released on Rawk Records. The band will be appearing on the 5th Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender in March 2002. The Stumbleweed have already played and shared bill with many greats, such as Wanda Jackson, Marti Brom, Junior Brown, Kim Lenz and Big Sandy, to name but a few.
The powerfull start of the CD is the self-penned "Diggin' For Gold", a fast paced rockabilly honky tonk stomper that will get your feet movin' to Mike's catchy doghouse bass rhythm, Lynette's fabulous vocals, Tom's snearing lead guitar and a large dose of Red's pedal steel. To give you an idea about the sound; if you like Marti Brom's uptempo rockabilly songs, you will just dig this gold! Raunchy!
"Slowly But Surely" keeps up the slapping rhythm to an old Irish folk tune (must have one on your album when you're from Boston of course). I can easily sing along to this one in Dutch, only the Dutch lyrics I learned when I was a kid were about a robin and not about falling in love. Nice to hear this tune again to a rocking rhythm. On "Nashville To Nashua", Lynnette's voice reminds a lot of Wanda Jackson, although the song itself is more traditional hillbilly.
Keep right on honky tonkin' on the title track "Pickin' & Sinnin'", while the next song "When You're Finally Done Drinkin'" is slowing down the pace a lot. Very sad song, and as you may or may not know already, I'm not very fond of these lullabies. "Wine, Women & Sin" is much more like it, with Mike's bass rollin' on. "Heart On Fire" keeps up the rhythm and Lynnette's voice is just beautiful, but it doesn't have the fire of the first track, the one that swept me off my feet.
Patsy Cline's "Honky Tonk Merry Go Round" is always a feast for my ears, but it is followed by another slow song "One More Beer, One More Tear". This is just my humble opnion of course, but I think The Stumbleweeds do a lot better when they keep on fast track, like this one titled "Foot Stompin' Friday Night". "Wasted" is traditional country, kinda Wanda Jackson's sixties style. The closing song is a knock out, "The Marriage Song" is a bit of fast paced comedy which sounds like early Collins Kids, only the voices aren't quite that young of course.
In general, if you're into honky tonk hillbilly, you'll enjoy this album, if you're a hardcore rockabilly fan, you'll dig the fast tracks and I'm pretty sure all of you will get shivers down your spine when you play "Diggin' For Gold" as loud as you can! Look out Marti, here comes Lynnette!
The Stumbleweeds are:
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002