Shrimp Boat

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Duende Review

by Jason Ankeny

With Duende, Shrimp Boat's wide-eyed fascination with the scattershot strands of American musical tradition congeals into a remarkably vivid and engaging whole -- encompassing pop, jazz, country and seemingly everything in between, it's a laconic potluck of sounds which sounds like nothing so much as a postmodern Music from Big Pink. Between the jaunty Eastern European rhythms of the aptly titled opener "Back to the Ukraine" and the free-form sax blowing of the finale "Tartar's Mark," Duende also detours into old-timey melancholia ("Sad Banjo"), late-night pop ("I Swear, Happy Days Are Mine") and even reggae ("Limerick"), all with a casual disregard for the confines of structure and form; although they borrow from everywhere, Shrimp Boat sounds quite like no one else, making music that gives back as much as it takes.

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