Rat Wakes Red

Dizzy on Daddy

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Acoustic folk guitar and viola with a whispery, troubled voice? Yes, please! Rat Wakes Red is a strange moniker for such an exquisite murmur, but James Rafferty makes lovely music that has a lot in common with Elliott Smith (in fact, his double-tracked voice is so similar, we might not be able to tell them apart blindfolded!) and Bookends-era Simon & Garfunkel. One could imagine Gus Van Zant or Mike Nichols using these recordings in a film, Good Will Hunting or The Graduate-style; they're affecting/nagging in a similar manner. Think of the unhappy Bill Murray diving in the pool and staying submerged to the Kinks' worrisome Kinda Kinks folk ditty, "Nothin' in the World Will Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl," and that's the pensive mood of meditative musing here. Each time Rafferty hits one of his bass strings, it slips into a slice of Jeral Benjamin's hovering viola, and the air is like leaves falling on a fall day. See "Dead Ringer," a pretty song that's a comment about continually making the same romantic mistakes, for an example of this at its best.

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