Posted by: will | September 20, 2006

Eric Bachmann…

Eric Bachmann “To The Races” (Saddle Creek)

Buy it at Insound!

There’s no two ways about it…Eric Bachmann is one of my all time favorite artists. The man is impressively prolific. He fronted one of the greatest indie rock bands in Archers Of Loaf. His next band, Crooked Fingers was/is equally amazing. Now, Eric Bachmann has recorded his first true solo album. To The Races certainly does nothing to tarnish the man’s impeccable reputation. It’s right in line with the backwoods style of Crooked Fingers while showing a softer, gentler side to Bachmann’s musical reportoire.

Recorded in a hotel room in Buxton, NC, To The Races showcases the southern heritage of Bachmann probably moreso than any of his other endeavors. To The Races eschews the instrumental grandeur of Crooked Fingers for a more solemn affair. Many of the songs simply float along as they showcase Bachmann’s Neil Diamond-esque voice over softly plucked guitars. The album starts off with the outstanding “Man O’ War”…a six minute track that ranks as one of the best Bachmann has ever written. His descriptive lyrics are highlighted by haunting female vocals in the background. “Carrboro Woman” is a heartbreaking song of love lost…as only Bachmann can do it. The backwoods “Genie, Genie” sees Bachmann letting loose a little bit and it results in the most uptempo song on To The Races. “Lonesome Warrior” sounds fresh off a Crooked Fingers album. “To The Races” is an instrumental song that recalls Bachmann’s work under the Barry Black moniker. “So Long Savannah” is a beautiful song that pays tribute to the gorgeous Southern city.

To The Races, while certainly not being Bachmann’s crowning achievement, serves as yet another proud notch in the man’s prominent career. If you’re looking to dive into any of Bachmann’s material I would definitely suggest others to start with. However, the man has never been associated with a bad album and To The Races is no different…in fact, it’s pretty damn good.

RIYL: Crooked Fingers, Neil Diamond, Lambchop

Listen:

Eric Bachmann – Man O’ War (mp3)

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