Friday, September 19, 2014

Album Review: King of the Tramps "Joyful Noise" - By Cveckian

King Of The Tramps has a story to tell. In fact, they have nine new ones to share and just a few seconds into the lead track called, “Weather” one can tell they are in for a musical treat. It just keeps getting better the further you venture into what is one of the most superbly produced albums (and yes, there are many among us that would love to hear it on vinyl someday) that I have personally listened to in the last decade or so.

Album art by Tom Bolan at Artworx

EVERY song is a gem in its own way and one of the first things I noticed was the way the songs are tapered: No boring intros with cookie-cutter fade-outs in this mix  - something I was pleased to hear on the previous offering as well - and the stories within the songs are memorable and lyrically appealing. The breakaway instrumentals are tight and various subtle styling techniques prove that this isn't KOTT's first rodeo...or even their hundredth. They know where the best foundations for music are laid as well. Textures of Santana, Allman Brothers, The Band and other assorted fabrics are woven throughout KOTT's joyful tapestry and all are backed up and strengthened by the individual talents of this fantastic group. 

Just past the halfway point of their new album comes "Deadman" which could have easily been a signature song played by the Rolling Stones during their prime (some would say "primal") years and a couple songs later "Rock Island Line" took me back to that good ol' Led Zeppelin "Physical Graffiti" vibe I used to enjoy in MY prime. 

This is followed by the incredibly poignant, “Six Bullets” which is a direct reflection on a recent tragedy that happened in our humble state – The shooting of an unarmed teen by the name of Tyler Comstock . I didn’t know this the first time I heard the song but found myself relating to the lyrics all the same. If you haven’t noticed your local police force taking on a more militarized feel, you need to wake up. A powerful song without a doubt.  I am hooked on KOTT even more now.

Todd Partridge of KOTT (Photo by Cveckian)
You will hear the love these guys have for music in each and every track and that is definitely a rarity these days. It is impossible for me to pick a single favorite (I cannot, I will not and you can't make me) so I will just give you my top three at this moment: "War", "Wandering Kind" (an anthem that mirrors what my own life was like not too long ago) and "Joyful Noise" which has got to be one of the best title/final tracks I have ever heard. You can feel the positive vibe flow throughout that song (the whole album for that matter) and it is unmistakably pure.

KOTT closed out the Iowa State Fair this year. (Photo by Cveckian)
On a scale of one to ten this new album is a solid ten and if you (being the collective you of anyone sitting on the fence as to throwing a few coins this great band's way) do not add it to your collection you are seriously missing out on nine great slices of Americana supported by some undeniable musical talent. 

King Of The Tramps are well on their way towards the next offering with several new songs already in the works and I for one cannot wait to hear more. These five talented musicians not only know the roots of rock and roll, they enrich them every time they get together and play and believe me THAT is a joyful experience to be sure. 

Come out to the Bigfoot Ball tomorrow to see and hear them for yourself!


King of the Tramps Official