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Amigo

Might Could – 2014 (Carlisle Beauregard)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Amigo

Back in the 80's when college radio was playing the bands that would later be called the forerunners of the '90s boom in alt.-country, there were a ton of them that sounded like Charlotte, N.C. combo Amigo. Pick a song from The Rave-Ups, Rainmakers, The Silos, E*I*E*I*O or others of their ilk, and it would fit right in to this twangy set of new tunes. That's not a slight to the members of Amigo, just an observation that this has been done before with great results, and it probably will be done again.

Amigo run toward easily pegged cliches sometimes delivered in not-so-easily guessed ways, however, as on the doom-and-apocalypse treatise Old Testaments & Nail Bombs or the deceptively catchy Gospel Ship, which uses an organ-accented country rock vibe to come up with a modern-skewed spiritual.

There's more than a little of the mellowed-out hippie phase of country in these grooves, taking Gram Parsons to the next generation with Burritos-like flair and even a horn section on Oh, Easy Rider, but they're not afraid to rock out a little on the Stones-y, attitude-laden I Love You.

Amigo sounds like a band whose sum of influences isn't yet greater than its parts, but for anyone nostalgic for past country-rock glories (or younger listeners who might have missed it the first time around), the band rolls them all up into its songs, making it practically the house band for the proverbial alt.-country nightclub.