Written by James Killen
The purists are going to holler a bit, but we now have Americana coming in from Britain. Certainly, we expect this genre to come from this side of the pond and preferably from the South. I’m afraid however we may need to scoot over a bit and make some room for House Above the Sun. The concept of Americana is finding a unique blend of American musical styles, including country, blues, rock and roll, jazz, and folk. Somehow, House Above the Sun has found their own unique blend that includes a prominent lead guitar and a touch of all of the above with a pop appeal that really translates across genres.
This full length CD (Five Hours North) follows a self-titled EP and can be expected to be released in October. The disc starts out with “Runaway Devil” and features stark but reserved rhythmic lead guitar, about giving up morality for personal gain. The pace slows a bit with the softer, “Counterfeit”, leaning more in the pop direction and featuring a very sweet bass line. “Eagles Dare” follows the pop theme with a subdued lead guitar and a theme of independence.
“Tonapah” kicks off with a rock and roll drum beat and a pop lead with lyrics celebrating a coming of age experience in Nevada. The sound drops back to a more country blues tone on “St. Augustine’s Blues” on the back of a very fine organ fill. “No Virtue” rocks a bit more with a well presented lead and a steady blues oriented rhythm. The band slows the pace again on “Childhood Home”, a song of lost innocence and regret.
House Above the Sun presents an Americana folk style anthem, with “Footsteps”, professing faith in the Savior. The band steps up the pace a bit with the rocking pop, “Ask Me to Pretend”, taking a bow to country style lead guitar. The album ends gently with “Find a Warmer Place”, about searching for that right combination of environmental conditions to bring satisfaction and features a lead that brings to mind Dickie Betts of Allman Brothers fame.
This album is a composition that strikes a pose in a unique position someplace between pop and Americana. The musicianship is tasteful and the lyrics strike home subtly. The entire disc is well produced. Look for this one to make a bit of noise when it releases in the fall.