The Mighty Short Bus (MSB Family Band), The Family Band Record
In a similar vein, this lo-fi, warts-and-all disc has a pleasing acoustic-naturalistic vibe. Last year The Mighty Short Bus, from Madison, WI, reformulated itself, took a bunch of new songs into a barn, and quickly rehearsed and recorded this album, aiming to "capture the magic a song has the first time you play it aloud." Mission accomplished: bare honesty combined with a good-time feel lights up most of these songs. Even the grim and eccentric "Lawyers and Their Money" thrives as a toe-tapping two-step.
The songs have a loose, traditional Americana sound, and numbers like "On the Run," "East Coast Elaine," and the swinging "Keep On Goin'" with its rich vocal harmonies bring to mind the songs of the Byrds/Gram Parsons country-rock revival of the late 1960s. Among the many high-energy tracks like the bouncy "Tonight," the simple slow song "Movin' On" might be my favorite.
On some songs the vocals, from primary songwriters Frank Busch and Nic Adamany, may sound a little too raw at times, but that's all part of the off-the-cuff nature of this project. With solid musicianship and sensitive songwriting throughout, this record was a worthwhile detour for this short bus to take, if detour it was.