Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Alternate Routes - A Sucker's Dream
It is easier to describe the Alternate Routes by what they are not. They are not Rock, Pop or Folk. They are just good. Their eclectic sound will actually work against them but they are too talented to ignore. For some reason in the current music industry we need to pigeon-hole everything. Every where else in society multi-culturalism and diversity are valued. But in music we have to be able to fit things into neat radio formats pre-approved by Clear Channel executives. Fortunately Vanguard Records cares about artists and knows that the artists worthy of being found can find their place. Even if they don't fit in some radio executive's little box. In the current music landscape there are more distribution channels than ever. So good artists can be promoted and discovered. Indeed if there is a theme on A Sucker's Dream overcoming long odds seems to be it.
This album like their previous Vanguard debut was produced in Nashville by Jay Joyce (John Hiatt, Patty Griffin). From sweeping ballads, catchy pop hooks and earthy Rock this album goes in more directions than their previous record Good and Reckless and True. The Alternate Routes home base is the blue collar town of Bridgeport, Connecticut but their true home is the road. They tour relentlessly and are gaining a reputation as a real crowd pleasers. I have not had the privilege of seeing them live. However, listening to the album I am not surprised their music translates so well to an audience. There is an emotional presence in their music that seems very sincere. This earnestness adds a certain aura to the music that draws you in as you listen. Such honesty deserves a place in the music landscape for sure.
This review also appears on Twangville