Two Dollar Bash
Album: New Adventures
Label: Cannery Row
Tracks: 14

How's this for cosmopolitan? Two Dollar Bash [presumably a variation of Dylan's Million Dollar Bash ?] are four former buskers [three from Glasgow and one from Paris] who got together in Prague and are now based in Berlin! What's more they play the most authentic-sounding Americana you'll hear this side of the Appalachians.

Their sound is a combination of folk, country and rock and sounds like the Gram Parsons version of the Byrds circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo with Nashville Skyline period Dylan thrown in for good measure. If you like banjo, mandolin, guitar and harmonica with harmony vocals on top, you'll love this.

The album opens with an instrumental "Skunk River Rag" ,which ,as its title suggests sounds like the soundtrack to a western movie . The first song, title track "New Adventures " sounds to me as though it could be an outtake from "Notorious Byrd Brothers " with its chiming guitars and deep harmonies. Excellent stuff!

Next up is the bluegrassy "Blame It On Me ", complete with banjo and fiddle which put me in mind of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. "San Francisco Morning " is an atmospheric acoustic guitar and strings ballad which is just lovely. TDB then launch into "Same Old Lie", a country rock song that wouldn't sound out of place on a Gram Parsons album.

There is a change of style on "Rolling Down the Road", which has a Celtic folk feel to it ,which refelects its subject matter [drinking in Belfast].It also features some fine mandolin . Similarly, "Keep Holding On" has a folky feel with some great harmonica, which reminds me of early Lindisfarne.

Apparently, Two Dollar Bash evolved in Prague in the early 1990's from an acoustic band with the delightful name of The Oul' Bogwarriors. In the years that they have been touring together ever since , they have clearly developed their songwriting, playing and singing skills to a very high standard. If you like authentic-sounding American roots music, give this a listen, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Peter Cowley

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