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Music Review: C.K. + The Rising Tide – ‘American Romance,’ Excellent Country Rock

Hailing from Albany, New York, C.K. + The Rising Tide just dropped their first album, called American Romance. The band is composed of C.K. Flach (guitar, drums, vocals, harmonica), Chris Brant (violin), Danny Boudreau (keyboards), Devin Kaminski (drums), and Daniel Tucker (guitar). Ann Catherine provides backup vocals.

After releasing his solo album, Empty Mansions, desiring a bigger, more evolved sound, Flach started looking for like-minded musicians. Once gathered, the band elected to record in a log cabin in upstate New York, putting together an alt country/folk rock sound of imaginative quality, as well as musical vision.

American Romance opens with “Road to Damascus.” A quavering intro from the organ flows into a country rock tune thick with resonant guitars and Flach’s rich vocals. “Friends” rides swashbuckling guitars and potent drums full of carefree energy. Luminous background harmonies add to the song’s pizzazz, as Flach’s voice, tailor-made for country rock, floats overhead.

“St. Vitus’ Dance” is a dark, wistfully-flavored ballad about trying to escape the confines of small town life, a search for something bigger and newer. Brant’s violin dishes out scrumptious melancholic colors, giving the music a tender urgency.

“Desire” features spangled overtones and a propelling drive that’s infectious with throbbing colors. Flach’s voice achieves deeper passionate timbres on this song. The soft flow of “Hey Hey Helena” is gorgeous, and Catherine’s plush harmonies add expansive hues to Flach’s affluent tones. The simmering tremolo of Flach’s harmonica imbues the tune with ozone smelling mists.

The title track offers unvarnished harmonics and thrumming, hefty colors. There’s a powerful flow to this song that’s attractive, poignant, and robust.

American Romance is head to toe superb. This is alt country as it should be, unlike the pablum Nashville too often foists off as music. If you’re searching for tasty country rock, American Romance has what you seek.

Follow C.K. + The Rising Tide on ckflach.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

About Randall Radic

Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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