I'm not sure why it is, but at present there seems to be a ton of fine folk/bluegrass/Americana style bands coming out of British Columbia these days, including the likes of The Gruff, and The Breakmen two recently reviewed examples. Well you can add Outlaw Social to the list too.
This five-piece outfit out of Victoria certainly captures the essence of the folk roots genre. The instrumentation includes fine fiddling by Kendel Carson, a sweet lyrically voice in Catherine Black, and tight harmonies when Pharis Patenaude and Oliver Swain join in. Adam Dobes rounds out the quintet.
Patenaude also has a knack with the pen, writing some of the CD's best material including; When He's Gone, and the modern-themed folk tune Methadone.
Outlaw Social also does a nice job of mixing in traditional songs, with their own arrangements to make them their own. One of the best efforts in this regard is Country Blues, and the CD's title cut; Dry Bones.
I will admit I like this style of music. I like the banjo carrying tunes, and here both Swain and Black play the instrument, which fits sweetly with the rest of the band.
If you're into country music which still has a healthy roots soul, look for Dry Bones, I promise you will not be dissappointed.
Check out the band at www.outlawsocial.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Dec. 26, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada