Tuesday, July 18, 2006


"Jellybean Wine"
(from Bombadil 2006)

It somehow seems odd to me that a bunch of guys who are barely out of college would dress like they're joining Huck Finn for an adventure on the Big Muddy and play music that sounds like this, but that's Bombadil for you. God bless 'em.

I have a hard time finding good reference points for their acoustic, rootsy music. The fact that Stuart Robinson's piano leads the way for the most part -- there's very little guitar at all on their debut EP -- gives them a kind of roadhouse feel. Splashes of xylophone, smears of trombone (I think), and so on add some interesting textures. There's a lot of trading vocals going on, so that adds to an everyone-join-in vibe that I like. Most of all, it sounds happy -- you can tell that these guys are really enjoying making this music. (This is true even for "Johnny", which I'm willing to bet is the peppiest song about a cutter you'll ever hear.)

One thing that I've kept coming back to is the thought that Bombadil is in some ways a less-redneck Gourds -- they both mix together a broad range of musical styles into an organic whole with a lighthearted touch that borders on whimsy. So in that sense, even they don't make any nods to the origin of the band's name, it does seem to be well-chosen.

Between here and here you can basically listen to the whole EP. Much of it is similar to the songs I've linked here. "Tall Grass" is the place to start if you really need some guitar in the mix. I also highly recommend "La Paz", a more reflective song that shows another side of Bombadil.

Their next show is Thursday night (7/20) at the Pour House in Raleigh, with Maxwell/Mosher (ex-Squirrel Nut Zippers), so the quirk level should be pretty high for that one.


At 5:09 PM, Blogger Lyricslover said...

Just wanted to say I've been visiting your blog for a while now and that I thoroughly enjoy your posts. Carry on.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Mrs. Michalak said...

Mark, You must be a true intellectual. You are one of 5 people I have spoken to who has heard of ‘Tom Bombadil’, or shall I say ‘the first bombadil’. Thanks for the nice write-up on the Bombadil Band. I, for one, love their happy music. I am a Bombadil Mom, so I am slightly prejudiced! I want to wish them well on their upcoming musical tour. Good luck and have fun! Mom Michalak

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Thanks Paul! Mrs. M, I'm not sure if that's "true intellectual" or "true geek", but either way thanks to you as well. Your boys are doing good stuff!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Matt Hayhurst said...

Bombadil sounds great. I never heard of them. Thanks.


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