On its debut LP, this nine-person co-ed troupe doesn't like to be tied down to a genre any more than an elephant likes a leash. With so many contributors, this Portland baseball team (well, no designated hitter) fills a stage and the imagination by lacing its roots -- Western-country-folk-blues-soul with still more ideas, such as Mexican mariachi horns -- in the same synergy of competing styles that June Carter Cash/Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" melted and melded, enlivening the oompah "A Balloon in the Sky" and the "(Ghost) Riders of the Sky"/"Rawhide"-ish "Peterbilt." Ex-Minneapolis maven Mike Mildew is the ex-punk ringleader of this engaging circus that records his songs in his barn, but you get the feeling it took all nine to bring a '30s rural/mountain jamboree to 2000s Cosmo Oregon. Funded by Kickstarter.com, this is the slot-busting art that passing a virtual hat was made for. Syrup, please.
Pancake Breakfast Review
by Jack Rabid