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Saturday, November 30, 2013

ROUTES & BRANCHES
featuring the very best of americana, alt.country and roots music
November 23, 2013
Scott Foley

Between three jobs, a family and a nasty reading  habit, you'd think I might have better things to do.  Nope, I spend far too much of my time griping about bad band names.  For every Drag the River or Bottle Rockets, there's bound to be a Fruition.  Fine band, don't get me wrong.  There's a soulfulness to their Just One of Them Nights that you'll only find on Band of Heathens or Wood Brothers (good band names), or in Greensky Bluegrass (with whom they just spent some quality tour time).  Three vocalists assure a good deal of variety from song to song, with Mimi Naja bringing the album's most refreshing sounds to tunes like "Whippoorwill" or "The Wanter", and Naja's mandolin also lies at the heart of Fruition's very comfortable acoustic blend.  Using Portland, OR as their musical hub, the quintet came together through busking and hard touring.  The resulting sound benefits from that camaraderie, where the individual members build around one another and gradually coalesce into a more natural whole that sounds simultaneously tight and loose.  Owing to songs like the driving "Boil Over" or the sweet and soulful title track, I've been able to forgive Fruition their questionable choice of moniker. 

*  Drag the River, "Not That Kind"  Drag the River  (XL, 13)  C
*  Pine Hill Haints, "Midnight Opry"  Welcome To the Midnight Opry  (K, 11)
*  Arliss Nancy, "GB Shuffle"  Wild American Runners  (Black Numbers, 13)  C
*  Seasick Steve, "Over You"  Hubcap Music  (Third Man, 13)
*  Paul Burch, "I'm Going To Memphis"  Fevers  (Plowboy, 13)
*  Trampled By Turtles, "Wait So Long (live)"  Live at First Avenue  (Banjodad, 13)
*  Rosie Flores, "Blunderbuss"  Rockin' Legends Pay Tribute to Jack White  (Cleopatra, 13)
*  Hackensaw Boys, "Keep It Simple (live)"  For the Love of a Friend  (Self, 13)
*  Son Volt, "6 String Belief (live)"  Okemah & the Melody of Riot: Revisited  (Legacy, 05)
*  Drive-by Truckers, "Living Bubba (live)"  Alabama Ass Whuppin'  (ATO, 13)
*  Kristina Murray, "Smoke and Brown Whiskey"  Unravelin'  (Self, 14)  D
*  Centro-matic, "Mighty Midshipman"  Love You Just the Same  (Misra, 99)
*  Lydia Loveless, "All the Time"  Boy Crazy  (Bloodshot, 13)
*  Bottle Rockets, "Idiot's Revenge (1991 Acoustic Demo w/Uncle Tupelo)"  Bottle Rockets/Brooklyn Side Reissue  (Bloodshot, 13)
*  Mic Harrison, "Cracked Windshield"  Still Wanna Fight  (Self, 12)
*  Yawpers, "Suspicious Minds"  Good Songs/Shitty Versions  (Self, 13)  D, C
^  Fruition, "Boil Over"  Just One of Them Nights  (Self, 13)  D
*  Kelly Willis, "Find Another Fool"  Easy  (Ryko, 02)
*  Kimmie Rhodes, "Everything Is Broken"  Covers  (Self, 13)
*  Jason Isbell, "Elephant"  Southeastern  (12th St, 13)
*  Jake Bugg, "There's a Beast and We All Feed It"  Shangri-La  (Island, 13)  D
*  Brian Wright, "Red Rooster Social Club"  Rattle Their Chains  (Sugar Hill, 13)
*  Possessed By Paul James, "38 Year Old Cocktail Waitress"  There Will Be Nights When I'm Lonely  (Hillgrass Bluebilly, 13)
*  Charlie Musselwhite, "As the Crow Flies"  Juke Joint Chapel  (Henrietta, 13)  D
*  Railroad Earth, "Chasin' a Rainbow"  Last of the Outlaws  (SCI Fidelity, 13)  D
*  Jim Lauderdale, "Throw My Bucket Down"  Black Roses  (Sky Crunch, 13) 
*  Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, "South"  South  (File Under Music, 13)
*  Casey Neill & the Norway Rats, "Sainted Streets"  All You Pretty Vandals  (Incident, 13)

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