Burning River Ramblers
Written by Ellen Marie Hawkins
Burning River Ramblers is a band from Ohio, formed by a few guys who create music when they’re not in class at Ohio University. Doesn’t tell you much, does it? What if I was to add that they were named one of the “Top 25 Bands to Watch” by Cleveland Plain Dealer? It might raise your eyebrows. But would you want to listen? How ‘bout I add that they’ve got a Latin flavor (think more Santana, less Ricky Martin), and that they’re incredibly infectious? If you’re listening while studying, you’ll be chair dancing, and if they’re playing while at a party, your feet will moving (And your hips. Probably your shoulders, too. And, oh, why not, your hands will join in the fun as well). Interested enough to at least read on?
This young band has got a great funky vibe, creative enough to throw in some western flair (yes, as in the Wild West-“Two Guns”), so much that you’ll be ducking for cover behind the bar at the saloon while holding on to your hat, and then taking you to the local carnival for a ride on the carousel (adequately enough, named “Carousel”).
While fun, I think these songs are slight detours on the album; the real standouts are the opening track, “See Ya Soon,” “Redwood,” and “Stranger on the Street” that put their creativity, soul, musicianship, and storytelling abilities front and center. I was impressed with the flow of “See Ya Soon,” the light heartedness of saying goodbye to someone because sometimes, it’s just time, and really is there always a need to get so dramatic about it? I loved “Redwood” for the fact that the song is about suicide, but it’s not the melancholy tune that I expected, yet it made me think, and “Stranger On the Street” took me on a journey. I pictured everything in my head as the song unfolded, and I love that.
But the most impressive thing about these guys is that they’re just getting started. Listening, I would have expected to read a biography about a much older band. They flow so well, and the vocals, the guitars, the harmonica, they work together seamlessly that creates this very distinctive and lovable sound that you would think would take years to develop. While one song, “Russian Roulette” earned them an explicit lyric warning and “Drink Now” is about the obvious, the talent and the strength of the above mentioned tracks make these imperfections minimal and easily avoidable. My one word of caution? Be prepared to become addicted on first listen. This is a fun and really great debut.
Be sure to visit www.revernation.com/theburningriverramblers for more information and be sure to purchase from iTunes.