A Great Long While

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Neo-folk quartet Strangefolk continues to peddle its breezy, upbeat style on its third album, 2000's A Great Long While. Another strong cohesive effort from the Vermont natives, it once again allows Dave Matthews, Spin Doctors, and Blues Traveler influences to peek through the group's own very deft and distinctive compositional touch. With its deceptively simple arrangements and occasionally outré instrumentation (note the apropos sax on "Mama" and horns backing "Pawn"), the band's carefully crafted songs quote a variety of styles, including electrified alt-rock ("Chasing Away"), reggae ("Sinner"), discreet psychedelia ("Blue & Grey"), and swamp blues ("I Tell Myself"). All the while, the musicians remain true to their group's core sound, making this a highly recommended listen for fans of challenging jam band material.

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