Music revivalists like Cowtown are usually met with a mixture of grins and groans. There are those who believe that in order to remain fresh, old music must continue to be played and reconsidered by new generations. Purists, however, see them as gimmicks at best and as corrupted versions of the real deal at worst.
Cowtown want to prove that they are no one-trick pony. Like all good revivalists, they honor their influences without riding on their coattails. While their first three LPs covered an array of standards and traditional pieces, their latest effort, “Ghost Train,” comprises the most originals. Writing duties were split between guitarist Whit Smith and violinist Elana Fremerman, who display remarkably different styles. Smith’s brooding tales of family strife and sleep deprivation stand in stark contrast to Fremerman’s bright harmonies. Her tune “Forget-me-nots” is so cheerful that it’s hard to believe it’s a kiss-off to a wishy-washy suitor.
Read the full review at The Japan Times Online.