For some reason Las Vegas seems like the proper place for a band like the furious bluegrass beguilers The All-Togethers to be from. Perhaps it’s because Las Vegas is the home to so many varieties of showmanship, from musicians and magicians to bookies and hookers. However though The All-Togethers are from that well known city in the desert where everything that happens there stays there, their music harkens back to a much earlier time; a time that recalls strong and unfiltered whiskey and law men who fight it out in the street with their guns.
This style of music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, or glass of whiskey for our intents and purposes, though forgetting that one must give The All-Togethers credit for being very good at what they do. The instrumentation on their latest and hilariously titled record, To the Sober Go the Spoils is spot on for the type of jazzy bluegrass music they make.
The band consists of Virginia born front man Ken Osborne in whose twang one can hear that ancient feel of Americana. The upright bass is tackled by a little lady (she’s five-foot two) named Cindy Osborne, and her deep bass plucks are heard like a steady pounding heartbeat all over this record.
Those sweet and intricate guitar licks you hear are provided by Michael Louis Austin, and it’s evident that he is a driving force behind the band’s music. And last but not least, the nuanced cello helps to lend depth to these songs, a depth without which the band would be totally lacking.
The band’s fervor comes from all of these instruments coming together and each individual member adding their own flair to the music. The opener “Self-Defense” is a quick mountain music style romp on where the fast moving guitar parts are complemented by quick flicks of bass and fiddle along with excellent vocal harmonization. In contrast “Shadowboxing” is a bit slowed down dirge. Later on “Copper Angel” is a sad bit of balladry that rolls on and laments on a lost love of drinking. “When the Night Comes” begins with a gypsy infused guitar riff, and then moves into banjo fueled borderline angry rocker.
The All-Togethers may not be the music of today’s generation, but their sound is an inspired and welcomed change. Fans of genre music would do well to give To the Sober Go the Spoils a listen because it exemplifies just how well older forms of music can be when given a new world spin. And stylistically it’s pretty darn fun to listen to when you’ve had a few.
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