The Blind Owl Band
Rabble Rousing (Jan 2012)
At their best, the Blind Owl Band resembles an old-time version of the Ramones, with pure decibel level and accelerated tempos covering over the music happening underneath. Call it Thrash Time or Grungegrass, perhaps. In any case, Blind Owl Band dives headlong into the mosh pit of old-time as a dance music, in this case dance music for young people in outstanding physical shape.
Seriously, on the aptly titled early 2012 album Rabble Rousing, the Blind Owl Band is on to something, at least their own recognizable sound on the left edge of the roots, acoustic world. What the Saranac Lake, NY quartet calls “Original Rowdy String Music” becomes compelling in a raw power and punk energy that aims to go beyond any excesses of the Avett Brothers. “We use the instruments of our ancestors, but play music of our time that is influenced by all that has happened in the musical world over the past 23 years. We hope that we can achieve a unique personal sound with our music through a raw instrumentation.”
The Blind Owl Band consists of Arthur Buezo (Guitar, Vocals), Christian Cardiello (Bass), Eric Munley (Mandolin, Vocals), and James Ford (Banjo, Vocals). They perform almost entirely original music with an emphasis on rhythm with the breaks often hidden inside a wall of noise. Listen to “Broken Bells.” Often this works brilliantly as on :”Fiddle Don’t,” “Missoula, Montana,” “Whipawell,” and the bluegrassy “Devils My Witness.” Occasionally, it breaks down into something that sounds like the Kingston Trio on meth, for example, “Scorpion.”
Rabble Rousing will provide too punk for a lot of older fans. The Blind Owl Band, however, connects two genre that have more in common than their obvious differences. This group could evolve into something very special that transcends any conventional musical genre.