CD REVIEW: Didgericruise - Didgericruise
By Cyrus Rhodes - 01/03/2012 - 12:42 AM EST
Label: Arkose Records
Genre: Acoustic folk/blues/Spanish folk
Sounds Like: Chris Issak, Lyle Lovitt, Peter Paul and Mary
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Tango, Plane, Kabasa
Weakness: Post Production Assignments, Overhearing Didgeridoo
Arizona’s own Didgericruise release their debut, self-titled CD in 2011. Line-up includes 3 piece David Fuglie (Vocals, guitars, Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo and Bass), Saylar (Vocals, Bowed Strings, Accordion, and Bouzouki), and Mark Stenov (Dideridoo and percussion).
The CD kicks things off with “Plane” an upbeat intro piece that serves up classic Americana vibe that delivers slamming fretwork, driving rhythm and rich harmonies and vocal melody from Fuglie and Company. Track 3 “Island Time” shifts gears with its smooth flowing rhythm, impressive solo guitar accents and catchy vocal vibe from Fuglie. Track 4 keeps things moving in the right direction with “Drowsy Grungy Maggie” a fiddle driven melody with dynamic musical groove that peaks & valleys its way through emotional fruition. This CD makes a solid first impression and really never lets up. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts like Lyle Lovitt, Chris Issak, Paul Simon and Peter, Paul and Mary. The music itself is an amazing blend of modern acoustic folk, with Bluegrass/Americana roots with an unmistakable accordion driven vibe. The musicianship of all the players involved is equally as impressive. The earthy fretboard accents are well placed. The rhythm groove (Bass/Drums) is thick as a brick. The vocal presence of Fuglie is warm and inviting and fits this style of music perfectly. You will notice lush layers of instrumentation layered everywhere, from impressive solo guitar licks, amazing harmonies, impressive percussive accents, mandolin, accordion and even diffels and strings. But the most impressive thing about Didgericruise is the impressive songwriting, playing and vocal persona of David Fugile. He deserves allot of credit for his contribution. From Spanish “Tango” to rocking “Didgeriblues” and “Espania Voctoriosa” to upbeat “En Afrique” and seductive “Kabasa” to grooving “Brazilian Fantasy” this CD has something for everyone. I especially like the 7 instrumentals offered on this fully loaded catalogue. The CD ends with “Dream Time” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It’s hard to find any real weaknesses with this CD. I would offer up 2 item that would make it even better. It's generally never a good idea to have your mixing engineer and your mastering engineer be the same individual. This is typically a big NO NO in the recording Industry. Why? First – he already knows where all the dead bodies are buried (haha), Second: the more professionals you have assigned to your post-production the more perspective you can get out of it. As a producer I highly recommend having each phase of the production process (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) handled by a different professional altogether. At the end of the day it can be more strokes on the canvass. You won't regret what having 3 or 4 different sets of ears making your music sound as professional as possible. The second item – give the didgeridoo a freaking rest! It really wears on the ears and wears out it's welcome half way through the experience. At times it can even be overbearing sitig to high in the mix.
From start to finish “Didgericruise” is one impressive catalog of music. The music is consistent, uplifting and extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really a weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing and playing abilities of David Figlie and company are rock solid. The lyrics are catchy lyrics, the melodies are well crafted and hooky. Last but not least the songwriting and vocal presence from front man David Fuglie is world-class. HE deserves alot of credit
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