Michael Van & The Movers’ music is deep rooted and like a beloved toy that is a little dented and a little bit out of shape from too much loving – its misconstrued appearance definitely deems it as a cherished object. Its tarnished respectability does not delineate it as something to be thrown away or idly trashed. On the band’s latest project, titled, A Little More Country, the uplifting tracks that are filled with jaunty beats and rolling Country and Americana are the kind of songs that bear repeating and are the type of music, like treasured apparel, you’d want to keep around as you mature and age on in life.
Consisting of Michael Van (acoustic guitar and vocals), Pete Ahonen (electric guitar, banjo and vocals), Alan Bond (mandolin, fiddle and vocals) Larry Lawson (bass), Bob Skye (drums and harmonica), Special Guest Mark Berhard Stevenson (steel guitar), Noah Duvernell and Paul Ohnemus (drums), Michael Van & The Movers are a magical act that will be sure to get you drunk off their intoxicating melodies and riveting tunes.
The album starts out with the opener “A Little More Country”, which is a country and folk song that definitely harkens back to an old school sound. In addition, the joint has a bluegrass and jazzy cadence that is also joyful. The track speaks about freedom and the carefree ways of a simpler life. It depicts descriptions of a warm summer day with the croaking of frogs and the warm flowing grass afoot with the picking of the banjo and the playing of the fiddle. With deep roots to Americana and country music, the welcoming and warm compressed truths in this production really rocks. It is like Michael Van& The Movers are getting back to the home-brewed scene and the sensibilities of going back to that rooted sense really carries through. The genesis to the vocals here in this track is geared toward a sun-soaked reality that is glowing and whiskey ladened. The Southern country twang really delves into this sprawling landscape that the song describes.
On “Skeddadle Mountain Lullaby”, the tickling of banjo strings makes for quick, jumpy and staccato takes. The inebriated track with its strong backbeat makes for an intoxicating mixture. It really does take you on a spin with its whirling tune. Though this song in particular emphasizes a more of a jive feel than that of a lullaby, there is also a distinguished quality distinct in this track. The exciting tunes on this song will rev you up. Catering to an Americana and country crowd, these fun driven tracks with its rolling sound will part a partition between the golden old days when times were separated spheres of wistfully relaxing in the sun with a good drink in your hand.
With its beat up vocals, “Love Me Till Thursday” will conjure all the rough patches in life. The singing on this track has a whispery connotation as the raspy vocals gives you an introspective look into a true story of a late paycheck where the girl married him even though his pay didn’t arrive on Thursday. It is a intriguing song with a slow and lumbering tune. Yet the booming and powerful singing gives a hopeful perspective for the future of the bride and groom.
The track “Juanita” has a Latin-vibe and with its dreamy and relaxed feel is an ode to a love interest who stands out from the rest of them. There is a depth to this song and it really appeals as background fodder as you do your work or are taking the time off to just relax.
“Pretty Penny” is another fast number with its gin and tonic perspective. The gritty vocals will accost you and whisk you across the disheveled and heady number. It seems like especially toward this piece that the songs off this album are drink based. Most of the stories on the record are about good times spent drinking and for those whose world revolves around the rim of a cup, these tracks are for them.
On “Sounds Like Rain”, this hearty and earthy track resonates with a smouldering and fiery spirit. The exhilarating tone to this piece triggers a natural instinct to nod in time to this song. The harmonica and banjo elicits a forlorn feelings and evokes the familiar sounds of rain, drowning out everything else. The melody will fittingly get you drunk off its engrossing twists and turns as the song is inspired from true stories that Ahonen’s grandfather would tell him.
The original compositions off Michael Van & The Movers album, A Little More Country, are wholly very centered tracks. The spirit themes acts like a talisman and is a familiar notch to which the songs base off their welcoming country twang emphasis. Like the toy metaphor mentioned above, these are well-worn tracks and after many listens these world weary songs will still starve off the same sentimental feel you had since the very first listen. Once you have acquainted yourself to Michael Van & The Movers sound, you’ll be accustomed to putting these songs on repeat. 7.6/10