Two Dollar Guitar

Burned and Buried

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

On Burned and Buried, Tim Foliahn and Steve Shelley brought David Motamed into the fold as the group's bassist. The disc begins with the alternately titled "Burned and Barried." Immediately, Motamed's bass adds a richness to the group's sound. Foliahn's deep and brooding vocals remain the group's standout trait. The trio recorded the album with producers Doug Easley and Davis McCain at Memphis' Easley Studio. Their surroundings in the musical hotbed of Memphis certainly seemed to add a certain Southern blues flavor to the pot. The rootsy heartache of "Song for a Dead Friend" and the rollicking, beat-driven soul of "Happy Guitar" show a band going through a creative growth spurt. "Let Me Bring You Down" is featured on the disc. The song apparently wasn't ready for the album of the same name two years earlier. The hum of "Canny" adds a lo-fi effect and the keyboard-laced rhythms on "The Impromptu Ballad of a Male Slut" add a new dimension to Two Dollar Guitar. The band's barebones approach to music has always been central to their appeal. Even with the addition of pedal steel guitar, blues harp, and harmonica, the instrumentation is still simple and refined, albeit gritty and raw. The delicate opening guitar line on the disc's final track, "Bring on the Rain," gives way to a barrage of radiant yet murky instrumentation. Smells Like Records co-released Burned and Buried with Oil City Recordings in 1996.

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