Cattywompus - Gospel Hymns & Original Sins Review
Cattywompus is a roots rock band from Austin, Texas. On their MySpace page, their quote is "Keeping Austin Weird." Well, I don't know too much about that, but I do know that the people of Austin are lucky that to have a band like Cattywompus in their backyard.
This album shows Cattywompus as one of those rare bands that can incorporate a lot of different influences while still maintaining their own unique sound. Through the first two songs ("The Soldier," "It's All Over Now") you can get the sense that the members of this band grew up listening to the likes of The Allman Brothers, The Band, and Flying Burrito Brothers.
The next couple tunes ("Elizabeth Rose," "Sweet California") definitely have more of an "alt-country" feel. Think shades of Grandaddy or The Lost Trailers. But like I said, while you can hear similarities to other bands, Cattywompus maintains its own sound. Jonathan Lennartz wraps his easy vocals around twangy guitar and a solid rhythm section. And whether they are doing a classic roots rock, or an "alt-country" sort of tune, they sound good.
I think "Lord I Just Don't Know" is a tremendous song. The slide guitar by Aaron Bateman is outstanding. For me this is one of those songs that makes me stop what I'm doing so I can just listen. It is five minutes of pure goodness.
Every song on this album is quite good. From the lonely twang of the slide guitar in "Lord I just Don't Know" to the honky-tonk piano of "Leaving Virginia," the guys in the band show that they know what they are doing, both in performing and putting a song together. I can tell that this is going to be one of those "You have to hear this" CDs I spring on all my friends. It is an incredibly well-done roots rock album with twelve good songs and two audio clips. Roots rock fans, pick this album up and maybe you'll be telling your friends, "You have to hear this band Cattywompus."
Townes Van Zandt
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Allman Brothers Band
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Kings of Leon
Flying Burrito Brothers