May 30, 2013 by Nils
Howdy folks. Thought I’d gone away? Hehe, you were wrong. I’ll keep up on this website for a while until we get a new radio home, and part of that “keeping up” will be in album reviews. The first one we’ll have is of Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys’ recent release, Reasons that I Run. The band hails from New York state, with Jim Gaudet on guitar, Bobby Ristau on bass, Sten Isachsen on mandolin, guitar, and dobro, and Mat Kane on fiddle.
This is a solid album, and what immediately hits you in the first track, “You Don’t Know What I Know” is Kane’s fiddle line kicking in after Gaudet’s guitar riff. Rhythms are tight on this album, as we should expect from a bluegrass band, and these guys are definitely together. Solos are transcendent–Kane and Isachsen play effortlessly over the bass-beat, and again, I reference you to the opening track. The melodic lines are clean, notes clear and ringing.
Gaudet’s songwriting also is a big part of this album. He covers a lot of ground, with songs ranging from outlaw ballads (“Reasons that I Run,” “Johnny was an Outlaw,” “Justify My Soul”), comic themes (“Peanut Butter,” “I Ain’t Getting Up”–which is a great summer dance tune, by the way), heartache and relationships (“Dark Side of Lonesome,” “Raylene,” “In Some Other’s Arms”), and life observations (“You Don’t Know What I Know”). Each song’s lyrics don’t resort to hackneyed vocabulary–Gaudet tells a new story with each song, even if they deal with old themes, and as a storyteller, Gaudet does a great job embodying each of his songs’ narrators.
All in all, this is a really fun album, especially for summer listening. Check it out!
Check out some songs from Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys: