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Horseshoe: Movin' the Goods

Horseshoe
Movinà the Goods
Wayward Sound Recordings

Music that's raw, homespun and honest has a way of being good regardless of genre. If you allow yourself to sink into Horseshoe's latest, Movin' the Goods, it doesn't really matter where you might previously have categorized the band: country-rock, jam band, No Depression. All three classifications serve as useful starting points, but none really covers Movin' the Goods adequately.

Opener "First Car," a heartfelt ode to joy about having someone to go through life with, illuminates the point clearly. Sure, it sounds instantly comfortable and familiar. But at the same time, vocalist Greg Wood's lyrics and delivery seem somehow more tangible, tactile even, than those of most of his contemporaries.

Wood comes from the time-honored storyteller tradition. Whether depicting the comforts of "home" in "Last Concert Café," the badass guitar-slingin' dude in "Texas Trash" or the life of a two-timing Juarez drug runner -- and a happy one at that -- in "Moving the Goods," Wood creates accessible characters from what for most of us would be fantastical situations.

Another aspect that elevates Movin' the Goods well above the norm is that soul-searchin' and hell-raisin' are depicted with equal clarity. "Til the Next One Comes Along" and "How Many of These Places?" join "First Car" as sterling examples of longing or its resolution. Hell, even just hangin' out on the fringes seems like a ball the way it's described on "Better Days."

A good bit of the album's overall celebratory tone comes from the musical performances. Always progressing yet often searching, the band behind Wood never loses focus. On studio tracks, Michael Fischer (drums), Scott Daniels (guitar), Aaron Loesch (guitar) and Ben Collis (bass) work well, while on the live tracks, Eddie Hawkins on drums and Cary Winscott on guitar maintain the energy.

With Movin' the Goods, Horseshoe has created a record that transcends its obvious categories by doing what any great music should: removing you from the here and now by letting your mind go elsewhere.

 
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