Quick Drawl Two Dollar Buffet (Dry River Bed)
Reviewed by Christopher Hess, Fri., Dec. 3, 1999
Two Dollar Buffet (Dry River Bed)Though the name of this band might suggest another hyperactive white trash parody rock band, nothing could be further from the truth. This local quartet plays acoustic music with guitar, mandolin, bass, and fiddle that, while firmly rooted in traditional bluegrass and country, steps forward into original material with neither apology nor parody. Like so many great bands before them, there are two distinct yet compatible voices on this album -- those of guitarist Joe Ridout and guitar/mandolin player John Troutman. Ridout's rolling bluegrass songs are natural complements to Troutman's grittier alt.country sensibilities, with the latter's ode to bluegrass, "Lydleburg," showing the respect and originality with which they approach the roots of the music they make. "Wedding in Mobile" and "Hold the Bag," for example, are truly beautiful songs with excited, poetic lyrics. There are rough spots, but the playing is good (and often really good), especially on the instrumental numbers, where the solid double bass of Geoff Union and the often exceptional fiddle of Miss Darlene elevate the jams to bona fide breakdowns.