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Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats

On This Very Evening – 2013 (Billy Goats)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Jonathan Warren & the Billy Goats

The Boise, Idaho-based trio Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats latest independent release features a mix of folk, alt.-country and psychedelic rock. That mix is all present in the opening track Greyhound, which starts off twangy enough with guest violinist Austin Clark leading the way with a driving fiddle riff that near the end of the tune transforms into a distorted effect reminiscent of The Byrds' I Wasn't Born to Follow. Similarly Handshake has a retro 60's rock feel.

The alt.-country influence is prevalent on the title track ballad, as well as the country-rockers Angeline and I'd Rather, which feature nice harmonies from Warren and band mate David Sather-Smith.

Several tunes have a modern folk rock feel similar to The Avett Brothers or Mumford and Sons, including Rules Bending and Partly Cloudy. There is even a touch of jazz on the mid-tempo Living Room with contributions from guests Ty Clayton (mandolin) and Landon Lemieux (trumpet).

In addition to songwriters Warren (guitar, bass, harmonica, banjo) and Sather-Smith (cello, guitar) the trio of official Billy Goats is rounded out by drummer/percussionist Andrew Smith, though the significant contributions of the previously mentioned guest artists on this project make this a truly group effort. With strong tunes, Warren's quirky but effective vocals and solid musicianship throughout, "On This Very Evening" is an entertaining collection.