Review: The Band of Heathens: Remote Transmissions, Vol. 1 – Music

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The band of pagans Good times dinner club offered a rare bright spot in the pandemic, as the local quintet held online jam sessions with guest stars who exchanged as many laughs as songs. The virtual events highlighted BoH in their sweet spot — loose and fun — that didn’t always make it on their records. Box of ten cutlery Remote transmissions, vol. 1catch that Good time spirit with guests and materials pushing the outfit into adventurous territory that hasn’t really been tapped since the 2011 groove Top Hat Crown and the Clapmaster’s Son. White Denim’s James Petralli sets the tone for the LP by quickly boiling Little Feat’s “Rock and Roll Doctor,” Ray Wylie Hubbard digs the blues belly of “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” and the band burns nasty backing as that Margo Price shovels the grain of “Joy” by Lucinda Williams. Some cuts play it a little too safe (“Tumbling Dice,” starring Nicki Bluhm, feels dampened by Jagger’s lasciviousness, and Butch Walker moans an excellent but fairly faithful version of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves”), but the most hit delightfully unexpected (Tom Petty’s Robert Ellis “Walls”; Hayes Carll’s woozy Dylan with “The Man in Me”; Midland’s Mark Wystrach singing Marty Robbins’ “El Paso City”). No wonder BoH impressively inhabits the tunes, but the project expands their sound and energy with revitalizing versatility.

***.5

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