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Coyote Poets Of The Universe: Strange Lullaby

It has been a while since I have heard from the Coyote Poets Of The Universe. I reviewed their 2008 release titled Callin’ You Home but didn’t hear the subsequent album Pandora’s Box from 2010, their last album. The Poets are back with a new album titled Strange Lullaby, a two disc set with a total of twenty-seven tracks, mostly originals with a few covers thrown in. The band label themselves as progressive Americana/jazz and it isn’t too far off the mark, especially the Americana and jazz comparisons.

The album starts with a cover of The Beatles’ psychedelic classic “Tomorrow Never Knows” and they do a great job with it. The droning psychedelic sounds are inspiring and the vocal arrangement is excellent. It’s quite dreamy like the original but they manage to make it their own just the same. Another interesting take on a classic is a cover of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” where Melissa Gates’ lead vocals are highlight reel material. Her performance comes across as real and guttural, straight from her inner being. I really dig the American twist the band does on this one. The catchy “Piece of Cake” comes straight from the heartland and rocks pretty hard. The imaginative use of strings is a highlight. The bass and guitar twang in the classic “Green Onions”, along with some nice flute work and the psychedelic tinged vocal and guitar ditty “Nobody Knows” are more good tracks. The country ballad “Long Black Veil” ends the first disc in a mesmerizing lament that will surely leave its mark.

Highlights on the second disc include the gospel/blues/country "Ghost In The River”, the lovely country ballad “Honey For My Children”, a riveting cover of “House Of The Rising Sun” and the sprawling “Scars”, a fifteen minute slice of bluesy swamp rock with great guitar, strings and flute. I definitely hear a bit of The Doors in this one.

I should also give a quick shout out to Josie Quick and her wonderful strings throughout the album. Her rich layerings are a huge part of the band’s sound.

After giving Strange Lullaby a couple spins I really should go back and give Callin’ You Home another try. This is some fine rock and blues straight from the heart…and soul.

Track Listing:
Disc 1
1. Tomorrow Never Knows (5:45)
2. Piece of Cake (5:59)
3. Oboe Pavane (0:26)
4. Roadhouse Blues (4:48)
5. Amhearst Café (6:06)
6. Green Onions (3:06)
7. Synesthesia (3:49)
8. Wayfaring Stranger (4:39)
9. Oboe Dobro (6:59)
10. Green Glass (5:50)
11. Nobody Knows (2:03)
12. Long Black Veil (6:14)

Disc 2
1. Ghost In The River (4:03)
2. Honey For My Children (7:36)
3. On A Rainy Street (2:16)
4. Off The Cuff (3:41)
5. Radio Z (0:17)
6. Scars (15:12)
7. Playin In The Rain (4:52)
8. No Room For Virtue (3:25)
9. Sparrow (7:04)
10. Talk To Me (2:24)
11. Dia De Los Muertos (3:49)
12. Louisiana Morning (2:16)
13. Jambalaya Moon (1:38)
14. House Of The Rising Sun (6:18)
15. Sweet Dreams (4:22)

Added: May 18th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 564
Language: english

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