CD Review —The Bodarks

| February 17, 2015 | Reply

Bodarks tossFirst printed in the February 2015 issue of Buddy Magazine

The Bodarks

The Bodarks

Independent Release

The Bodarks, a genre-creating string band from around the Metroplex, opens their first and self-titled CD appropriately with “Life Americana,” and then adds 12 more songs which prove they have developed their own unique Americana music.

This is a freshman CD for The Bodarks, made up of Jason Bell on mandolin, washboard, guitar, kazoo; Jeffrey Brooks on banjo, guitar, accordion, and harmonica; Brian Kelleher on stand-up bass and kick-drum; and Shelly New on fiddle. All add vocals, although Brooks takes lead most of the time.

Bawdy drinking songs make up most of the jive-i-er, porch-stompin’ ditties. Throughout it all, the fiddle sings, swings, and soars, sometimes in haunting fashion, as in “Old New Orleans,” sometimes ghostly as in “Little Green Men,” and, whines bluesy-que, on their string version of an original blues song.  Brooks’ harmonicas add rootsy depth in a couple of tunes. And it’s worth a close listen to the hand-crafted washboard rhythms.

Their one cover is of the Red Dirt Ramblers’ “Idabel Blues,” which they recorded live at a McKinney venue, as was their clever “Birthday Suit.” There might not be as many of these 13 songs considered radio-releasable on this project because, as they noted on ITunes and Amazon, some are “explicit.” But that’s only minor ‘explicit,’ no hardcore 4-letter words uttered. Major stars have uttered worse and gotten airplay.

“It ain’t got law and it ain’t got order, It ain’t got a flag and it ain’t got a border… Life Americana is just a state of mind.”

The Bodarks is available on ITunes and at the band’s live shows.

— Mary Jane Farmer, Scene In Town

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