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Quick Drawl

Two Dollar Buffet – 1999 (Dry River Bed)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

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CDs by Quick Drawl

This Austin quartet is not easily pigeonholed. Their debut ranges from droning alt. country to upbeat bluegrass, with a dozen stops in between. Their acoustic lineup of guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bass provides surprisingly flexible backing.

Led by singer-songwriters Joe Ridout and John Troutman, Quick Drawl meshes two distinct musical personalities. Ridout's songs lean more toward country, folk and bluegrass. His instrumentals, "Deadwood Sam," "Ditchin' the Cops" and "Jackie, Let's Get Loaded For Free," provide the band a chance to show off their impressive instrumental chops. His beautiful "Hold the Bag," echoes the poetry and vocal harmony of Simon & Garfunkel.

Troutman, on the other hand, is a man on the move - both lyrically and musically. Many of his songs take place on the road, from the brooding nighttime escape of "Road Signs" to car trips towards discovery ("Lydleburg") and salvation ("Iron Brand"). His reach takes the four-piece lineup further afield, showing off the band's versatility.

Given their excellent musicianship and solid, serious songwriting, Quick Drawl speaks a lot more clearly than their name might imply. (5425 E. Broadway Blvd, #192, Tucson, AZ 85711, E-Mail:,)