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Reviewed by Chris Dent

The Remarkables: Swinging On The Gate

Reviewed by Chris Dent

The Remarkables: Swinging On The Gate

This album bursts into life from the opening moment in full bluegrass outfit, but it would be a shame to simply label the Auckland band that, there are traces of the country world and magic western swing pieces too. The Remarkables‘ laid back sound will pick you up and take you away to a distant saloon or barn dance from days of old. That feel comes a lot from the swagger and relaxedness of each player. Solos dance around melodically while the band takes turns shining or aiding the groove. Somehow, no matter how complicated a break is, it all seems absolutely effortless.

Bass and vocals are provided by Garry Trotman, with guitar, vocals and harmonia by Neil Finley. Other instruments are Bryan Christianson‘s banjo and fiddle, washboard, mandolin, saw and train whistle by Robbie Lavender. There’s a playfulness in their playing, they were messing with each other when this was recorded – amazingly done in only two days. The production is smooth, light and articulate, so the Fragile Colours Studio engineer Tim Julian really hit the nail on the head. I’ll likely keep running this album over and will certainly look out for them live.