Opening with the bright and breezy "Mother Road", Old Californio make an immediate impact with their jaunty guitar led melody and the delicate clarity of vocalist Rich Dembowski. The whimsical "Riparian High" is a real delight with some smooth trumpet accompaniment from Slim Zweling and an almost psychedelic vibe that evokes the spirit of the 60's Californian sound and in particular reminds me of the Byrds around the time of Fifth Dimension. Westering Again is the second album from Old Californio after a significant period of time has passed since debut Along The Cosmic Grass. Apparently recorded in their old chicken coop garage turned recording studio in Pasadena (and with crystal clear production) the press release unsurprisingly cites influences that include Moby Grape, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Crazy Horse but this represents a refreshingly unique take of some old themes.
With a county twang introduction, "City Lines" stretches out to more than six minutes and has an insistent groove and the laid back vibe of "From the Mouths of Babes" is given further resonance by a vocal delivery full of yearning. Tucked away near the end is the subtle and inventive "Lazy Old San Gabriels" where the band take the tempo up a notch with excellent results. Stark closing ballad "California Goodness" sums up the whole album which is really warm sounding throughout and is highlighted by some wonderful playing with the sum total being a vivid reinterpretation of the past.
It might represent something of a departure from the usual SoT fare but those with an open mind and broad tastes would be well advised to dive right in.
Just Like Joseph Campbell
From the Mouths of Babes
Warmth of the Sun
Lazy Old San Gabriels
Are You Coming Home