The Boondock Hippy sounds like the sort of rambling, nomadic troubadour who possesses nothing more in this materialistic world than a head full of dreams and a battered, beaten acoustic. And a capo, of course. Surprisingly to me at least then, this is a band consisting of six talented and learned players who produce a well-rehearsed sound. Life in the Slow Lane is a collection of 11 original tracks which emanate in spirit from somewhere in the hazy Summers of the Arthur Lee generation; exuding a passion for, and understanding of, the rich tapestry of the American West Coast songwriting tradition, and a musicianship cultured and cultivated from boogie and the Blues.
From the opening vocal soundbite of what seems to be Martin Luther King delivering a somewhat obscured rhetoric under an exciting, galloping movement of harmonica and guitar, the album demonstrates fantastic, accomplished instrumentation; the syncopated rhythm guitar, the artistically-free lead and subtly-used horns swell wonderfully together to create a distinctive squall of blues, which evidently appears to be the band’s schtick. The lead vocals tend to direct each piece, with an emphasis brought to the verses by the recurring technique of an ensemble of vocals, which brings the tracks to life with a delicately-judged balance of harmonics.
The production is good throughout, the blend of talents is captured masterfully and the whole package carries the essence of a nostalgic Summer of Love attitude, which is delightfully retro, delivered with heartfelt enthusiasm and is utterly enjoyable.