Big House

Woodstock Nation

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Like a bunch of the acts on the Dead Reckoning roster, Big House could just as well fall into the rock designation as the country one. There's an easygoing bounce to some of the cuts, and on others they get into a circa-1970 album rock groove that might recall traits of the Band or the Allman Brothers. "Praying to Live," for instance, opens with a Jimi Hendrix-type fade-in wah-wah, and the whole track sounds like an attempt to audition for the original Woodstock festival. That's appropriate enough, given that the title song, a few cuts down the road, is a somewhat sour inquiry as to where the Woodstock nation has disappeared. Lead singer Monty Byrom has an appealing emotional and intense style, although the hard-luck tenor of both the voice and the lyrics could be varied more. In fact, he could stand to be more lighthearted more often; when he puts more of a grin in his singing on "He Don't Need to Know," it's a good uplifting change of pace. It's thoughtful, occasionally funky, and bluesy country-rock, though not extremely exciting.

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