Sam Doores + Riley Downing & the Tumbleweeds Holy Cross Blues

Sam Doores + Riley Downing & the TumbleweedsHoly Cross Blues
Here's a good example of cross-border co-operation. Canadian indie label Dollartone came across Doores in Memphis in 2010 and signed his band. Holy Cross Blues is the happy result. The group formed in the Holy Cross hood of New Orleans (Downing is a recent addition), though the disc was partly recorded in Nashville, with producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes). Doores (also a member of Hurray for the Riff Raff) and Downing contribute originals that dovetail nicely with songs by the likes of Bobby Charles, Woody Guthrie and Cast King. They mix blues, gospel, folk and country styles into a tasty retro gumbo. There's a dustbowl-era feel that's a bit reminiscent of Elliott Brood or Hotcha!, while "Depression Blues" has a soulful, Big Easy vibe that's boosted by horns. Doores and Downing alternate lead vocals, adding to the variety. The playing and singing are vigorous, but happily free of the bombast and freneticism of some of their peers. This is mighty fine stuff and you can bet they're a treat live. (Dollartone)