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The Hollow Trees

Independent release, 2016


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The long running Los Angeles outfit The Hollow Trees describes their music as high energy Americana with funny songs, and I have to admit, a song title like “What Do You Want On Your Taco?” got a chuckle out of me.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

But there's more to their story than acoustic guitars and humor. In fact, you might think of them more as a folk, blues, and jazz hybrid. On this fourth album, they use all those ideas with banjos, ukuleles, mandolins, accordions, and a kazoo, among others, to create a record that looks as fun as the cover art.

The fun is instant, too, with the aforementioned Taco tune which sounds like it could have been on the soundtrack to Three Amigos with its dusty shuffling, clever wordplay, and a sing-a-long chorus. The Hollow Trees utilizes this strategy well on similar tunes like “Merry Go Round,” and the ukulele friendly “My Dog Has Fleas.” They also use a call-and-response strategy to make the memorable album highlight “The Whole Thing”.

The jazz influence is most prevalent on “I Can't Dance (I've Got Ants In My Pants),” where female backing vocals punctuate the good time and an accordion solo fits right in. Some rap influence occurs on “Backward Bill,” which is based on a poem by Shel Silverstein. Elsewhere, the eclecticism shines with the bluegrass, mountain-esque sounds of the traditional “She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain” and the soothing lullaby “The Harmony Hills,” which finishes the album.

An album for the entire family, it's a knee slappin', toe tappin', ear to ear grinnin' listen that captures the spirit of youth but will also appeal to parents and octogenarians, too. As long as you possess the ability to laugh, dance, and sing, expect to do all of these things with an elevated mood while going back for seconds.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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