Roosevelt Bandwagon "Jobless Men Keep Going"
A bit of an oddity in this Google infused information highway that we inhabit these days, information on Roosevelt Bandwagon is infuriatingly hard to find. About all that one can find is that they are an Anglo-American Collective based in London. What we do know is that they have gathered this fine collection of bare boned songs which reach deep into the myths and history of American folk and they are graced by the fine pedal steel playing of guest, Kevan Bartholemew.
While Bartholemew’s playing adds a sweet filigree throughout the meat is provided by a pair of voices, male and female, who harmonise beautifully and who are backed by tasteful guitar and occasional piano. Aside from the anonymity, Roosevelt Bandwagon have delivered what is probably the best Americana album of the year so far.
Listening to this one is reminded of the likes of Freakwater, or even Gram and Emmylou. Songs like “Canyon Is On Fire” and “White Picket Fences” reach to the heavens and almost achieve an Americana nirvana. Beautiful and sad songs, they tug at the heart, almost achieving perfection. The album is packed with such moments to the extent that one wonders why Roosevelt Bandwagon are not mentioned in the same breath as The Jayhawks.
Song after song spills out, each one almost perfect, miniature gems that are delivered with a low key approach. For anyone who loves this type of music this is the golden loam. A pair of live songs recorded at The Troubadour added at the end prove that this lot do exist and that they can deliver on the promise held in this treasure chest.