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CD: Donkeyhonk Company - Long Way Home

Donkeyhonk Company
Long Way Home

No Limb to Shake 2:55 Bonewalk 5:15 the Broken Pledge 2:10
Tomorrow Comes from Behind 3:53 My Last Old Dollar 3:40 Winter Days  5:15
Dog Howl 3:48 Donkeyhonk Company Store 2:22 Go Home 2:23
The Lonesome Traveler 4:03

Oh how I can feel this music this week. No Limb to Shake, begins with a bass thumping, banjo strumming, foot stomping, head bobbing beat that sounds as if it came straight off these Blue Ridge Mountain I’ve been venturing across. A few pit stops into crystal clear waterfalls helped me rock the Cradle of Forestry from the Sapphire Valley up onto Whiteface Mountain then beyond.
Bonewalk, has a grim eerie sounding banjo with some devilish vocals. This is a lot different than the opening yet seems very welcoming. The sounds in the background almost pull each lyric from the singer’s throat, tugging harder and harder as the song progresses. I’m not quite sure what instrument it is yet. Let me move on. The Broken Pledge has a fiddle or two added to the mix. Just listening to it has you feel the wood floor beneath kicked up in a jig from the Highlands. This is not the same old music, or even the same old genre I’m accustomed to reviewing. It has me stopping to take a good look at them.
Okay, there is Lametto who is on vocals, banjos, guitar, dobro, and Uillean pipes. The Uillean pipes have got to have made the eerie background sounds from Bonewalk that I heard. Next, Hable is on vocals as well, but also is playing a mandolin, and violin. Pedl plays stand up bass and a tenor horn. Later on Wig joined the band playing drums.
It’s not often I have to do a review with such learned musicians, and I hope I can do them justice. The next song, Tomorrow Comes from Behind, has a nice acoustic, and a plucking that most likely comes from the dobro. This song is really driven by the vocals. They hold a rough and tough, been through this, jaded sound. You really can notice the Tom Waits influence on this song.
My Last Dollar, has some great purely evil laughter in the background and here comes that horn. I myself play a B-flat trumpet, so I really appreciate the horn in this song. So far, it is my favorite. Winter Days opens up with the Uillean pipes producing the desolation of winter. I believe the steel guitar sound is the dobro. Just closing my eyes and listening to this makes me remember the cold winter gusts and that freezing feeling, the treeless leaves, the white snow, just the black and white with no real color beyond that.
Dog Howl makes use of the pipes and banjo. Both singers work together to produce an echoing sound that makes up for the few lyrics that are in this song. And the song I’ve been waiting to listen to and write about comes up. The Lonesome Traveler has some great overlapping vocal tracks and the banjo sets the pace for this song. I don’t believe I’ve really ever heard a band that uses the banjo such as Donkeyhonk Company does.
So far I cannot say I’ve enjoyed listening to a band that I’m writing a review about as much as Donkeyhonk Company. They have spun their own web of music that reflects a cultural blend. I’d love to be able to say that I love one song more than the rest but as I look back at the list of tracks all I want is to listen to each again. The mix of instruments, the rough and gruff vocal tracks, and the lyrics all produce something that’ll not only leave your head spinning, but also make you wanting more. This is a band that I’d love to see live. I can envision them in a city I once called home, New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International Magazine 

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