Swamp Rat

Swamp Rat

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The members of Swamp Rat, the trio of guitarist Dan Cohen, bass player James Cook, and drummer Derek Mixon, take a break from their day jobs, in which they back country stars on tour and in the studio, for this picking session of original material that demonstrates their versatility. Of course, they are capable of playing tasty Nashville country material like the lead-off track, "Nose Whistlin' (In a Tizzy)," but they also delight in trying out different genres and mashing them together. Thus, "Klezmer Magic" somehow conflates a klezmer feel with bluegrass, courtesy of Sam Bush's mandolin, and "I'm Leaving at 5" begins with a Latin tone before turning to reggae. Western swing is a particular favorite, and the players travel to Bob Wills territory for "Spankin' It" and "Take Her out of Texas," the latter featuring a vocal by their sometime employer Tracy Byrd. Steve Wariner also sits in to sing "Back on the Farm," and Johnny Neel joins the group for the bluesy closer, "Better Let Go," which would have been an excellent vehicle for Otis Redding. Swamp Rat may be a busman's holiday for three guys who only leave Nashville to go on tour with somebody else, but it's a lot of fun.

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