Chris Goddard

Bus Stop

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Like a less charismatic and more decipherable Dave Matthews, Chris Goddard leads a four-piece folk-funk band through nine of his original compositions. He's got respectable rhythm chops, but the upbeat music hits a wall after a certain point. The songs are endlessly uplifting, so much so that they begin to blend into one another, despite their range from somber ballads to joyous rockers. All of the musicians are competent and manage to create a solid group dynamic, but none of the players (Goddard included) step out with outstanding instrumental contributions. Lyrically, Goddard calls on the folk tradition of Robert Hunter, Bob Dylan, and others, and populates his landscapes with cool breezes, town dances, and dandelions. Unfortunately, he removes the noted highwaymen, gamblers, and sinners who provide the tension of folk songs and replaces them with gentrified folks scampering in the sunshine. It's an unexciting tradeoff.

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