Viper Central - Thump And Howl
Viper Central planted their bluegrass roots back in 2008 with the release of their debut album The Devil Sure Is Hard To Please. Since then, the Vacncouver sextet have refined their sound to reflect nothing other than their unique and exquisite collective musicianship. Comprising aforesaid and sprinklings of swing, Celtic allure, and Métis stylings, this album seamlessly blends tradition with originality - a delightful listen.
Opening track ‘Saskatchewan’ combines Métis-style fiddle and subtle steel guitar tones. Fittingly written by fiddler and singer Kathleen Nisbet, it's a story about the west with stunning harmonies. The album's initial relaxed atmosphere is just a cheeky warm up, apparent when the album’s title track upturns the pace for a portion of country styled swing. Kathleen’s vocal during 'Hanging Ground' has a soulful diva quality which neatly succumbs to the song’s sorrowful guitar. Compare that to the album’s Celtic finale ‘Red River Jig’ and you get a long play unlike any other. Viper Central are a bluegrass band with pleasing versatility.