Hazmat Modine – Cicada (2011)

Posted by on May 21, 2015as

VBR~227 kbps | 105 MB | UL | UA

Hazmat Modine are a maverick New York band who are shifting from Americana to global influences with remarkable results. Founded by singer-songwriter, guitarist and impressive harmonica-player Wade Shuman, they are distinctive both because of their range and their line-up: two harmonicas are matched against a three-piece brass section, guitar, steel guitar and percussion. The songs here are often blues-based, but always different; the opening Mocking Bird starts like a slow work-song and builds into rousing, harmonica and brass-backed folk-blues, while Two Forty Seven is a finger-clicking burst of brassy R&B, and the title track is an exercise in poetry and blues. The cover songs are equally original, and include a cheerful, spoken treatment of Irving Berlin’s Walking Stick and the harmonica-backed 70s soul of I’ve Been Lonely for So Long. But the collaborations are even better, with Kronos Quartet adding their strings to the cheerfully rhythmic blues Dead Crow and Benin’s Gangbé Brass Band bringing African jazz influences to Cotonou Stomp and the slinky Child of a Blind Man, where Natalie Merchant provides lead vocals. A brave and unexpected record.

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