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Mr. Blotto: Barlow Shanghai

Sometimes good music is just good music, and we shouldn't waste energy arguing about in which genre it belongs. Such is the case with Barlow Shanghai, the fifth studio CD from the five-man outfit known as Mr. Blotto, which has played more than 2,000 shows together since it formed with members from various Chicagoland bands 15 years ago. Mr. Blotto sounds a lot like String Cheese Incident and Phish if Steve Lukather fronted either of those bands. Indeed, lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist Paul Bolger frequently seems to channel the longtime Toto singer, while lead guitarist Mark Hague's dynamic and visual fretwork echoes that of Lukather. Among the standout tracks are "Clampdown World" and "You Rock and You Roll," two songs that don't require a jam-band mentality in order to get your groove on, as well as the prog-tastic 10-minute finale "Triolet." Most notable about this particular Mr. Blotto release is the songwriting presence of longtime Grateful Dead collaborator John Perry Barlow from whose inspiration the album takes its title. Barlow helped pen five of the 15 songs on Barlow Shanghai, and he lends this friendly band with an open taping policy at its gigs (just like the Dead used to have) even more cool cred.

Track Listing:
1) That's What I Said
2) I Don't Work on Sunday
3) Clampdown World
4) Evangeline
5) Organ Grinder
6) Rattle My Cage
7) Appalacian
8) Rosalie
9) One By Night
10) What A Fool I Am
11) Almost Anywhere
12) Negril
13) You Rock and You Roll
14) Almost
15) Triolet

Added: February 8th 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Mr. Blotto Web Site
Hits: 2222
Language: english

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