Well ya know The Cherry Blossoms are after all maybe the best band in Nashville, and they're certainly the most authentic, (whatever that means...) Like a scoop of ice cream on the porch of your grandmother's naïve wisdom, minus the latent racism, CBs kind of ramble on toward some nonexistent rustic ideal. It seems real enough that you assume the whole “Past” is just like it. Though it probably never was?
To a few older dudes it was, man. You've got your Holy Modal Rounders and maybe Yo Ho Wah or whatever. To be honest this is more enjoyable. For one thing CBs are designed for, like ideal live, which this record is. But the recording is spruce: nicely separated stereo image and clean. The acoustic guits and kazoos and everything are real crisp, and the drums sound great.
Chris Davis's drums are really crucial to any Cherry Blossoms jam, dude's playing is extremely disheveled, but realllly profound, which is about what conversing with him is like. Davis is adept at playing this kind of “pseudo-free” style, all off-kilter, loosey-goosey, but will chug-along too. “Bean Bag,” which closes out the record is a great example of The Cherry Blossoms' general M.O. of spacey traditionalism: the meat of it is a meandering chuga-chug beat, like Neu meets Graham Parsons or like how N.R.P.S. might sound, maybe they do? (It's been a while, ya know?)
If you're familiar with the CBs than you get that John Allingham's kind of the glue of the thing, or whatever, but Peggy Snow is the absolute show-stopping delight. Her quavering vibrato and goofball romanticism and general enthusiasm, (and kazoo,) are the focal point here, and elsewhere they shan't be. One can definitely appreciate this incarnation of the band, that finds CBs rolling as a full quintet. That Chuck dude who works at Bongo on righteously “out of it” bass and especially Taylor Martin's vocal harmonies and especially her angelic counterpoint on “Lay the Cloud Thin.”
I'm pretty sure a couple of these songs can be found on The Cherry Blossoms' equally compelling studio LP, but I'm too lazy to cross reference which ones right now. If you're familiar with the CBs and dig them, than you'll dig this record. Familiar with them and don't dig, then leave it alone, but if you're intrigued by the band, yet unfamiliar, this one should make for a decent introduction, on par with their OOP self-titled album. A nice shrink-wrapped package from Chicago label, Hairy Spider Legs. Recommended!