Topaz & Mudphonic
Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., Aug. 8, 2008
Topaz & MudphonicMusic for Dorothy
The shrieking power hook of "Euclid Street" sums it up: "Ah yeah! Summer heat, got dirty feet and a funky beat." Recorded in a barn on the bank of the Colorado River, the debut album of Austin fourpiece Topaz & Mudphonic is canned Southern heat, a hooch brew of dirty bayou funk and redneck rock. Hit-and-miss funk jams are outshined by wistful "Twin Oaks," a sleepy ode to Dripping Springs with multi-instrumentalist bandleader Topaz McGarrigle bottling the down-home soul of Bill Withers ("Cicadas and frogs used to sing me to sleep, the world's best lullaby"). The harmonica-driven blues-rock of "Lonely," "Dirty Water," and "Fly w/ Me" anchors the set while leaning on an overused muffled vocal effect. A symphony of crickets and the faint barking of Fido accompany the longing slide guitar of "Brothers" at the close of Music for Dorothy in just the right key.