ST. LOUIS GROUP HAS THE SOUND TO COVER A LOT OF GROUND
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 20 2006
'Far Past the Outskirts'
St. Louis' Rough Shop quietly released its first full-length CD earlier this year, but there shouldn't have been anything quiet about it.
"Far Past the Outskirts" is a laid-back collection of songs that are equal parts country, pop, rock and folk. Its 12 tracks emit a kind of Grateful Dead vibe, but the hook-filled tunes and literate lyrics are totally original. Add wonderful playing, and you have a CD that gets better with each listen.
And this should not be a surprise, given that the lineup boasts guitarists Andy Ploof and John Wendland, the principal songwriters and singers from St. Louis' late alt-country band One Fell Swoop, plus that unit's solid rhythm section of bassist Mike Tiefenbrun and drummer Sean Anglin. Added to the mix is singer-guitarist Anne Tkach (Hazeldine, Nadine) and keyboard player Nate Dahm.
Dahm's organ washes and solos add soul and gospel colors to the band's canvas of guitars, mandolins and dobros, especially on the gender-ambiguous "I'm Your Man" (you "cast stolen glances/ At every woman that you meet/ ... I'm so very sorry I'm your man").
Other standout tracks include the Brit-folk flavored casino lament "Town's for Sale," the traditional "Hellbound Train," "Destination Anywhere" and "Wonder What It Means."
multi-instrumentalists and singers, Rough Shop is a formidable
talent collective that deserves the chance to make a very loud
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