Sixty Acres - Banjos and Sunshine
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Banjos and Sunshine (Dren, 1999)

Sixty Acres

Reviewed by Brian Baker

Hey, when everybody was looking the other way, someone squeezed another band out of the demise of Uncle Tupelo. At least that's the way that it seems on the debut release from Washington DC's Sixty Acres. There's plenty of influences besides the Tupelo's fractured universe to spread around, including The Beatles, The Jayhawks, The Volebeats and Neil Young.

Frontman/guitarist/songwriter Matt Felch has a mournful Jay Farrar-like quality to his vocals, and his songs are filled with the same brand of tragiocomic wordplay that informs both Wilco and Son Volt material. Felch and Sixty Acres can play broad for laughs with "ATF" and "My Car" by turning country songwriting convention on its head, or wring a heart dry with weepers like "House of Cards" and "Mirrors." The things that keep Sixty Acres from sounding like trendy genrehoppers are the sincerity and quiet beauty that Felch and the band utilize in presenting their Americana slices of life to the world at large. (Dren, PO Box 43, Sandy Spring, MD 20860)

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