The Clumsy Lovers


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AllMusic Review by Jesse Jarnow

This southwestern Canadian band recorded their live disc over several shows in the Northwestern United States at the Mt. Tabor Pub in Portland, OR, and The Tractor Tavern in Seattle. The group is one of many fusing Americana musical ideas with upbeat, rock-influenced dance rhythms. While many of these groups focus on the mandolin as lead instrument (often calling on the songbooks of Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs), the Clumsy Lovers reach back even further, to the Appalachian fiddle music that predated bluegrass and served as an inspiration for Monroe's high, lonesome sound in the form of his Uncle Pendleton, immortalized in "Uncle Pen." The fiddle tunes are ultra-high octane, often increasing to a near-frenzy (such as "Pigeon on the Gate" by way of fiddler Andrea Lewis before using Cameron Jonat's drums to maintain rhythm as the song curls into overdrive. Being essentially a modern-day hippie band, there are occasional conceits to the genre, such as the unfortunate white-boy funk groove of "California" and the obligatory souped-up-in-a-new-style covers, such as their cut of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" and the perfunctory reading of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" in the midst of "London Bridge."

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