Chicken Scratch

Chicken Scratch

by Zubot & DawsonZubot & Dawson


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Mixing folk, rock, blues, and jazz in the style of Dave Matthews and Béla Fleck, this Canadian duo continues to evolve in eclectic fashions. "Ed's Wake" has a Celtic folk groove in it but also has traces of Middle Eastern hues, particularly during the song's first two minutes. The duo loves to play off of each other, which is indicative of the entire album. "Shame About It" has a swampy Delta blues arrangement, but evolves into a lush acoustic pop sound. Phish would be a fair comparison also, as there is a certain "jam" quality to the songs and their according leisurely paced structures. "The Elf Hunter" is almost too relaxed, losing a bit of the intensity previous songs possess. Returning to the melody after some intricate solo work on guitar, Zubot & Dawson make the most with relatively technologically unfriendly instruments. "Boomer's Hill Road" is a slow, tension-building track that could be mistaken for Ry Cooder's outstanding work on Paris, Texas. "Two Caps" is similar to Cooder's deliberate yet well-known style of guitar picking. Unfortunately, it loses its edge with a rather aimless and indifferent conclusion. Kelly Joe Phelps lends his vocals on the lengthy blues track "Hellhounds on My Trail," but the number doesn't get off the ground as one might expect. Thankfully, "Hoedown" does from the beginning, a rollicking hillbilly-meets-R&B tune that brings to mind Mark Knopfler's solo work. The latter portion of the record lends itself toward an acoustic country-folk sound, with "May You Never" being a prime example. One of the odder tracks here is the Latin groove during the flamenco-sounding "Paloma." Resembling more of a world music style than acoustic folk, it's an innovative reworking of the duo's trademark sound. The funky "The Chomp" is the album's surprising shining moment, with a distinct tempo that veers between 4/4 and 5/4 time.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/17/2002
Label: Black Hen
UPC: 0620638027721
catalogNumber: 277
Rank: 160677

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Zubot & Dawson   Primary Artist
François Houle   Clarinet
Brad Turner   Trumpet
Jesse Zubot   Fiddle,Mandolin,Sampling
Elliot Polsky   Percussion
Frazey Ford   Background Vocals
Andrew Downing   Double Bass
Chris Gestrin   Organ,Accordion,Melodica,Univox,Micro Moog
Steve Dawson   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Ukulele,Tres,E-bow,national steel guitar,Guitar (Tenor),Guitar (Tremolo),Weissenborn

Technical Credits

John Martyn   Composer
Lee Townsend   Producer
Shawn Pierce   Engineer
Brian Watson   Management
Josh Zubot   Composer

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