hollow turtle - southbound
Forming in September of 2012 Hollow Turtle is a bluegrass/folk/acoustic rock band that recorded, mixed and mastered their own album entitled Southbound. The recordings themselves could use some improvement but the songs themselves aren't too shabby. All the songs on this album are fun and despite the heavy influence of bluegrass the vocal work sometimes seems reminiscent of traditional songs and even sea shanties – sort of like Man Man without the indie rock thing going on.
Hollow Turtle is a four-piece band consisting of Nick Preite, James Cappelletti, Alfie Purcell and Joseph Cappelletti. Each one of the members is technically talented. You are treated to jiving flute playing, banjo, walking bass lines and of course some solid acoustic guitar action.
The first thing you are greeted with on “Mountain” is something you might hear if someone was tuning their guitar. Luckily this only lasts about 10 seconds before they bust open a solid acoustic jam. The vocals seems to be exaggerated at times but things don't get really sweet until all the vocal harmonies combine at the chorus. “String and Stones” shows a bit more restraint vocally and pays off because of it. The string work is tight but the vocal work is some of the best on the album here. “Strange Man” feels like a bit of a mess while “Antler’s Rose” gets them back on track with a very traditional bluegrass tune that contains some mighty banjo playing. Another highlight is “Ode To Gerald,” which is another knee slapping good time for all.
For as fun as these songs are they sometimes lack energy because of the recording. Everyone’s playing is on point but the mix itself sometimes is unclear taking away from the visceral impact of the music. This minor issue aside Hollow Turtle wrote an impressive debut album that showcases some talented musicians and good songs.
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