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Salty D.O.G. and The County Get Marred By Midnight With Love

Andrew Saltz AKA Salty D.O.G and his band The County’s new LP Marred By Midnight is an eclectic mix of soul, rock, and R&B with a Doobie Bros and Christmas carol cover thrown in, or in other words, the most unique album I’ve heard in quite a while. As their Facebook page bio describes them, Salty D.O.G. and The County are “New Wave Ameripolitan Rock and Sophisti-pop” that “evoke First Nation elements.” As I said… eclectic. I wasn’t sure what to make of this unique band at first, but after a few listens I stopped trying to categorize or define what I was listening to, especially since “New Wave Ameripolitan Rock” never occurred to me as a genre, and instead just sat back and enjoyed what I hearing, and enjoy it I did.

“Gvgeyu’i (I Love You),” a song with a Cherokee word for its title, opens the album after a short “Interlude” (the album’s proper first track). “Gvgeyu’i (I Love You)”  thrives on its tribal beat, which provides the rhythm over which some slinky jazz bass smoothly slides, forming a unique world sound that serves as the back beat for an R&B vocal delivery that skews more nocturnal than universal. Saltz and the gang search for a bit of a higher love with “It’s You,” a much more straightforward soft rock song. Actually, this might be where the New Wave Ameripolitan Rock descriptor comes in. On second thought, this might actually be the “Sophisti-pop,” with the more muscular “Surmise” filling in as the album’s only real track worthy of the “rock” designation. This is mostly due to the excellent guitar work that punctuates the track throughout.

So far we have some rock, some jazz, some world, and some R&B on Marred by Midnight and we haven’t gotten through even half the album’s tracks in this review yet. “Cosmic Love” (ft. Zamaria Linn, Awkword Yumz, and King Qpid) brings the funk to the party via its guitar riff, and drops in some rap and soul along the way. “Black Or White,” an instrumental track, brings a heavy jazz vibe, and “A Funky Night With Bach,” another instrumental track, puts a funky spin on the classical musician’s vibes. Throw in “Serenity,” a reggae tinged track, and the two covers “Long Train Runnin’” and “Have Yourself (A Merry Little Christmas),” and just about every top genre is covered here (with the exception of maybe industrial).

It’s pretty obvious that Salty D.O.G. and The County are a talented outfit. They slide between, and in and out of, different genres effortlessly . Herein lies their strength and potential weakness. Marred by Midnight is an interesting listen, but it lacks the kind of consistency that I suspect that they are capable of. There’s much to love here, but for their next release I hope to hear a little more of a smoother blending of the genres. That being said, there’s no reason to frown upon the eclecticism of Marred By Midnight. Despite its slightly uneven flow, there’s much here that’s compelling and inspiring, especially when the tracks are considered individually.

 

Salty D.O.G and The County are playing a special Halloween gig: “Spooky Bash Concert and Costume Party” at Morehead Tavern on Friday October 27th with special guests Pam Taylor and Awkword Yumz.

 

Salty DOG and The County Facebook

http://www.saltydogrecordings.com/

 

Carolina's based writer/journalist Andy Frisk love music, and writing, and when he gets to intermingle the two he feels most alive. Covering concerts and albums by both local and national acts, Andy strives to make the world a better place and prove Gen X really can still save the world.

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