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Cold Tone Harvest Cold Tone Harvest
Album: After You
Label: Copycats
Tracks: 12

The lettering of the title clearly intended to conjure Neil Young's After The Goldrush (though they actually cover 'Out on the Weekend' from Harvest), this is the Southeast Michigan quartet's debut album after preparing the ground with a series of Eps. Formed by trumpet playing frontman Andrew Sigworth and banjo and drums juggling Brian Williams, and featuring Ozzie Andrews on upright bass and tuba with Tony Pace on dobro, lap steel and electric guitar, they're firmly cast in the mould of early alt-country Americana pioneered by the likes of Wilco, the Jayhawks and Whiskeytown.

As such, the album's drenched in dobro and lap steel, while the vocals have that pensive, wearied, dusty quality, the template laid down from the onset with 'Frozen Ground' and its lyrics about urban isolation and mirrored elsewhere on such numbers as the more measured Random Stance, the mandolin accompanied 'Electric Modes', 'Wake Me' and the cello-shaded title track, a heartfelt eulogy to Sigworth's brother.

Elsewhere, they take a more uptempo approach, kicking up the dust in lively fashion with 'Out On The Water' with its chugging rhythm, steel and banjo work, the country lope of Adeline and the frisky pedal steel driven 'Daniel' with its bluegrass colours. Also taken at a faster pace. but with upright taking prominence, 'Stealing Roots' has a slightly bluesier feel behind its train time rhythm.

At the end of the day, they're one of hundreds of similarly styled bar bands who are all making equally solid music of a similar vein and sound, all looking for the break to reach a wider audience. You might want to give them a helping hand.

Mike Davies