A Lesson In Roots Manoeuvres

The term roots music is a largely misunderstood one, applied to anything that doesn’t fit neatly into modern genres or happens to feature a violin or, god forbid, a ukulele! But if roots means music that comes from a fusion of blues, country, folk, gospel and world music, then The Brandy Thieves are pretty much your go to band.

They have it all, a sauntering gospel infused blues sound, hints of a reggae skank, folk-rock flavours, brassy, Mariachi riffs, gypsy jive and then a bolted on punk drive and attitude which moves everything along towards a clattering and brilliant crescendo. Down the River neatly blends authenticity with a widespread accessibility, old school traditions with modern commerciality, deft restraint and under-play with boisterous musical abandon. In fact it is hard to think of anything that they have forgotten to throw into the mix. It’s the perfect storm of roots music, bluegrass stomps played with a punk swagger, pastoral folk taken on a white-knuckle ride on an out of control cider cart. Country-core? Cow-punk? Gypsy Gospel? Who knows? Who really cares?

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