Copper Box

Roots

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AllMusic Review by

This is the debut recording by the versatile Copper Box. Although three of its members recorded together previously in the polka-infused K!CK, this is a new band with a broader musical scope than its former incarnation. Fronted by accordion ace Danny Jerebek and vocalist Michelle Jerabek, Copper Box glides through a variety of styles, touching on Tex-Mex, Cajun, country, rock, and, of course, polka. To their credit, the members of this band refuse to let any of their fleeting musical fancies dictate who and what they are. Popular music has always been enriched and ultimately strengthened when it allows outside influences to accent its customary and all too often stagnant formula. Copper Box specializes in precisely that -- introducing unconventional but colorful elements into its songs without regard to what record label A&R experts, radio programmers, and talent scouts might advise. It could be argued that only bandmembers who create music for the sheer joy of it would even think of combining so many of their collective musical interests when recording their inaugural release. And while this album brims with stylistic changes, the songs complement one another nicely. Danny Jerebek's accordion playing is the band's principal unifying element, but Michelle Jerabek's sweet and sultry voice is essential to the Copper Box consistency. How else does one explain how the Americana pop of "Daze" segues so smoothly into the more rocking "Apple of Your Eye"? Some deft acoustic guitar playing by Nate Grier on both of those tracks is key as well. The more plaintive and reflective "Racing" is followed by the country and Tex-Mex romp "Gimme That Old Tyme Music" which at first listen is reminiscent of the traditional gospel song "Give Me That Old Time Religion" and even includes (not coincidentally) some nifty Southern gospel harmonies as well. This album continues in unpredictable fashion, as the accordion rock of "Garden" and the chillingly romantic "One Night" will attest. And in fitting style, the album concludes with an old-timey rendition of the Bobby Womack-cum-Rolling Stones hit "It's All Over Now," replete with tuba and banjo. Such diversity and confidence are a rare find, especially in upstart bands seeking to define themselves. Kudos to the musicians of Copper Box for refusing to take their cue from hit-oriented radio and MTV and instead taking the road less traveled, creating music with unquestionable integrity based on a simple love of the music that's rooted all around them.

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