The Loomis Fargo Gang – The Prettiest Shade of Blue
Guest post by Milkshake
I first heard this album on a cold afternoon when I was tired and the Food Guy had been talking on the phone all day and even the chipmunks that live in the columns on the front porch wouldn’t come out to play. So I got up in the Food Guy’s lap and we listened to this and it was warm and nice.
Some people will say it sounds like Uncle Tupelo (sometimes) or The Grateful Dead (no way). If you ask me it sounds like Syd Barrett, but what do I know I’m just a cat! Maybe a little bit like Cotton Jones, Mazzy Star, JJ Cale, Bob Dylan, and The Carter Family. See, music is like a grove of yaupon trees: it all has the same roots. If the Food Guy goes out in the woods and yanks up a little yaupon tree, a sprig about twenty feet away will disappear into the dirt. So when you get down into this rootsy music it can sound completely fresh and unique and also sound like every song you’ve ever heard because all these songs are connected if you dig deep enough. I know that is a heavy thought for a cat, but thinking deep thoughts is what we do all day. You think we are sitting on the couch staring into space and really we are contemplating the mysteries of the universe.
If you want a good purr, read the other reviews of this album and check out the labels that people have tried to pin on this music: country, country rock, alt-country, folk, folk rock, indie-folk, alt-folk/country, Americana, and my favorite, Appalachian alt-folk. I hate to tell the person who wrote that, but The Loomis Fargo Gang is from Norfolk, Virginia. The Food Guy showed it to me on a map and it isn’t in the Appalachian Mountains. It’s down in the flatlands near the far southern end of Chesapeake Bay. They have a Naval Station there where you can meet those cool ship’s cats that get to travel all over the world. But I read that Winky Nash, the band’s frontcat, went to college in Nashville so I guess he has driven through the Appalachians a few times. I think he studied music production which explains why this album sounds so good, not like some of the indie stuff that sounds like it was recorded in the bathroom with the shower going.
I don’t know why everything needs a label anyway. Like when I go to the vet and they want to know what breed I am. One person says I’m a Siamese-Tabby Mix and someone else says I’m a White Tabby. I’m just a cat that used to live in a stable but now I live indoors. If I had to put a label on The Prettiest Shade of Blue it would be Good Music.
My favorite songs on the album are “Seventeen White Azaleas” and “Trampoline.” Both songs sound very simple, but there are a lot of subtle little things going on down in the mix.
I like this album better than their first one, Humans, Nature, and Human Nature (2008). That album had too many weird noises. And it sounded like they they were trying to be The Next Great Indie Pop Band. In the five years since they recorded that album, I think the guys re-discovered one of those secrets that tend to get lost between the cushions of the couch or kicked under the refrigerator with my catnip mouse: you take a couple of acoustic guitars, strum some major chords kinda slow and sing easy with some harmony, and everything you play will sound great. And if the dog and the cat take a nap together on the rug, well that’s even better.
Here’s a cool video of Virginia Beach. I’ve never been to a beach, but if this is the kind of music they play there, I would like to go.
So that is my review. I like this album and I think you will like it too. I would also like to say that cats are smarter than dogs. Dogs make terrible reviewers because they like everything. You can go on Facebook and post on your wall “My kid just fell out of a tree and broke his neck” and a dog will “Like” it. It’s a simple matter of non-discrimination. I can tell you about it if you want. You don’t? OK, bye.
Join The Loomis Fargo Gang on Facebook and “Like” them. Even if you are not a dog.