Personnel: Dusty Brough (electric guitar, nylon-string guitar, acoustic bass); Eva Scow (mandolin, violin, Fender Rhodes piano); Mark Summer (cello); Kevin Hill (upright bass); Brian Hamada (drums).
Audio Mixer: David Luke.
Recording information: Gatorland Studio, Oakland, CA (08/2007-11/2007); Mike Marshall's Studio, Oakland, CA (08/2007-11/2007).
Photographers: Bo Parker; John O'Connor.
Arrangers: Dusty Brough; Eva Scow.
There's plenty to be cheerful about on this album by mandolinist and fiddler Eva Scow with guitarist Dusty Brough (plus ample, strong support). Scow and Brough can certainly play, and create some lovely melodies along the way, mostly jazz but with some Brazilian inflections here and there, as on the delightful "Pica Pica." They're not afraid to look elsewhere, utilizing flamenco handclaps as percussion on "Bird with Beastlike Qualities" or employing tablas for a mild touch of the exotics. Certainly they can turn on a dime, putting in plenty of stops, starts, and tempo changes, switching the leads between instruments in remarkable displays of dexterity and skill. However, at times that becomes a bad thing, leading to some noodling that takes away from the focus of the album. But when they do drive ahead, they create a lovely acoustic powerhouse, with the daunting "Gypsy Wagon Crash" a prime example of them at their best. It closes with the quiet jam of "Saturday," where Scow takes to the Fender Rhodes to let it all wind down easily. Complex but largely satisfying, this certainly paves the way for the future of the duo. ~ Chris Nickson