One the most exciting elements of modern music is the incorporation of foreign instrumentation into a defined "genre." Perhaps the unique combination of instruments used by Boulder, Colorado's County Road X contributes to the difficulty of categorizing their music. The group consists of Erik Deutsch (piano), Doug Anderson (bass/accordian), Glenn Taylor (pedal-steel/percussion), James Hoskins (cello), TaddVancil (drums) and Kevin Hendricks (glockenspiel/crotales). The result of the ensemble is a series of lush arrangements that yield dissonant crescendos and whimsical, melodies. Deutsch, Anderson and Vancil provide a steady rhythm section complimented by the meandering fills of Taylor and Hoskins. Hendricks' subtle compliments thicken the mixture. CRX's music evokes landscapes and movement, like a road trip of sound.
On "Nkisi," the driving cello and drums lay the canvas for a frenetic showcase of Taylor's pedal-steel. The abstract "Taddlib" conjures images of a brewing storm on the Great Plains. "Parlor Song" is a beautifully dark amble through each element of the group from sweeping piano to weeping cello and piercing guitar. The final track on CRX's self-titled debut, "First Language" features Anderson on accordian. Initially it feels like the Right Bank of the Seine, but with the arrival of Taylor's guitar shifts to the banks of Mississippi. The maiden voyage of County Road X is a triumphant one. If only there was a screenplay worthy enough for an album that could be an epic soundtrack.
Kirk Peterson, Boulder Theater
Mastered by the 2003 Grammy Award Winner Matt Sandoski.
Check out County Road X's latest album: From Seed to Stone
available at CD Baby.