Artist: This Way
If you still have the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack somewhere in your dusty CD collection, or find yourself turning up the radio songs of Alison Krauss and Union Station, then you'll fall in love with the bluegrass-tinged front porch pickin' of This Way. Joining the guitars and bass on stage: a fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, prominent harmony vocals, and a frontman who handles more than a few while also pedaling a bass drum and tambourine with his feet. The perfectly placed harmonica and fiddle add considerable depth to This Way's catchy originals, and both are given just enough space to stretch out without delaying each song's rewarding payoff. The reference points popping into my head were Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road" and, to a lesser extent, Clint Black's "Tuckered Out." You'll no doubt have your own when you catch this memorable Portland, Maine-based act the next time they're in New York. And you should -- this level of professional musicianship is rarely seen on the smaller stages of NYC's indie music scene.
*** The author of this review, Benjamin Brooks, plays the djembe for the following band: http://youtu.be/tMS73-1kCr8