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Drew Emmitt

Long Road – 2008 (Compass)

Reviewed by J.P. Tausig

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CDs by Drew Emmitt

Peppered throughout Drew Emmitt's latest are influences of pop, rock, jazz, bluegrass and country that combine for an original sound. "Into the Distance" and "Get 'er Rollin'" are upbeat country tunes that mix bluegrass and Cajun influences respectively. But Supertramp's "Take the Long Way Home" and "Beat of the World" are reggae tunes played with many non-typical instruments. There's one bluegrass song and several Southern Rock-influenced tunes as well. "Gypsy in My Soul" is Emmitt's cover of a Van Morrison jazz tune with tasteful mandolin, banjo and guitar breaks. This album covers a wide range of musical styles with 8 of 11 songs written or co-written by Emmit.

With the shortest tune over three minutes and the longest over seven, the Leftover Salmon member has a lot to say, but seems to get bogged down at times. Many of the musicians have solos on most songs, making some tunes hard to follow. And many of the lyrics can become predictable. But the strength of this album is how it shatters many musical boundaries. It's a unique blend of influences that add up to Emmitt's sound.