Grand Canyon Sundown
Hailing from the San Diego coast and the back hills of Ramona; Grand Canyon Sundown are a noxious blend of country, blues, and rolling folk rock. A group of old friends consisting of Paul Cruz on guitar,bass and vocals, Jason Postelnek on guitar, bass, vocals, and violin, David Farrell, guitar, bass, vocals, and Mandolin, Seamus Steele on drums, and Drew Danforth on keys and vocals. Throw in Junior Torres on harp and the great Doug Meyer on pedal steel you've got yourself a collection of infectious talent. These guys grew up playing backyard campfires and highway reststops. GC Sundown evokes the spirit of the freedom days when passion was honored and individuality celebrated. They delightfully entice you to embark on a lyrical journey of sweet tragedy and beg you to wander through the smooth harmonies of desperate yearning. 'The San Diego Troubadour' Listing Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Jerry Garcia, Johnny Cash, and John Prine as influences, one gets a pretty clear picture about what to expect from the boys in Grand Canyon Sundown. Fortunately, they deliver the goods on this collection of mostly acoustic alt-country and folk-rock. The songs ramble along like a ride in the old Chevy I learned to drive on the back roads of Alabama - pretty slow for the most part, with an occasional smooth straightaway where it's cool to step on it a little. As far as instrumentation goes, Grand Canyon Sundown brings out all but the kitchen sink on this one. Acoustic, electric, and bass guitar meet drums, steel guitar, harmonica, fiddle, and mandolin to mingle like old friends with a good bottle, and the songs might well have been born from such a situation. Harmonizing well, almost everyone in the band is listed with vocal credits on their myspace page. With regard to everyone in the band, I suppose it would be rude to continue without proper introduction. Paul Cruz plays guitar and bass and sings, along with Jason Postelnek on six-string, bass, vocals, and violin. David Farrell also takes a run at guitar, bass, vocals, and mandolin. Seamus Steele handles the drums, with Drew Danforth on keys. Junior Torres warms things up on the harp, with Doug Meyer adding some fine touches on pedal steel. For me, the slower songs really stand out the most. 'River Roll,' 'Fly Tonight,' and 'Goodnight Sweet World' are my favorites. The steel guitar on the latter reminds one of good old-time country western music, which has clearly had some influence on these boys. 'Sail These Seas' is the one I wanted to hear over and over. The harmonica and distorted guitar stir up a little ruckus in the middle of a well-crafted campfire song fit for the radio. With a chorus about passing the bottle around, it got plenty of play. 'In My Dreams' sounds like one that might get the hippy girls dancing around up front and 'Beneath the Surface' would be the ideal follow up to keep them there. This might be where the jam band part comes in, judging from the online description of themselves. This is a solid set-ending jam for sure. 'Band of Gypsies' rounds out the album on a light-footed, uplifting note. What it lacks in originality as a song title, it makes up for by sounding like something that gets everyone in the bar tapping their feet or playing drums on the console with a foot out the window. Over all, the boys from Ramona fork up a good dose of what feels like a good time that's worth trying to get in on if you have the time and the right group of people. 'Jody Wood'