The live shows from Verses The Inevitable must be a spectacle. According to their Bandcamp page there are nine people who played on this album. The band is led by Daniel Hertel-Words (vocals/guitar) who is the songwriter in the band. He has a talented supporting cast consisting of Mad Dog Friedman (harmonica), Braden Rauen (fiddle), Randall Olinger (slide guitar), Jeremy Johnson (bass), Dan Crecco (drums), Harry Burgwyn (guitar), Madalynn Rose (vocals) and Alex Tyler (keys).
The band's debut album entitled All Debts Paid has a mix of country, Americana, rock and blues. It’s a vibe that shouldn’t be too unfamiliar with people who have listened to music from the ’70s and beyond. A tinge of The Grateful Dead, Neil Young and other artists who were prominent thirty, forty years ago. One thing I noticed was that Hertel-Words sounds like J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr at times. In fact there are times like on “Wendover” where they sound almost identical.
The band starts with “Stingers” which is a blues/rock jam. Right out of the gate you are greeted with harmonica and slide guitars. Great song all around but it felt more like a 2:00 am blues jam to me than an opener.
Next up is “Runner Runner” which is one of the highlights. It’s a smooth song putting his acoustic guitar and vocals at the focal center. The chorus is money as he gets some female assistance in the vocal department. They sing “Runner, runner, runner she gonna flush you out / Spades on the turn money what it's always about / No tides coming no time soon / Trouble born under a harvest moon.” Don’t miss the brief fiddle solo.
Another highlight comes right after “Runner Runner” called “Mangrove”. Talk about a memorable chorus. This song has it. The song is so easy going and relaxed that it transmits that vibe into your being. Great song for a Sunday afternoon.
One of the more upbeat songs is “Small Cuts” while “Running With Scissors” is stripped back relying on fiddle, guitar and vocals. I especially enjoyed the sequential order of these two songs next to each other. They close the album with a similar way with “Ataloosa.”
There is very little to nitpick about on this debut. The songs invoke a wide range of emotion and the band certainly establishes a recognizable sound.
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