Schwennsen & Nelson have been making music together
and with other Puget Sound-area heavy hitters for years and years, and they've
reached a wonderful, amazing place with their music: a place where the roots
they dug up and the roots they planted themselves a couple decades ago have intertwined completely.
Coast Bound Train is a great record, one that sounds very different each time it's played.
It stands up to serious musical scrutiny, it works as a "headphones" record, it works in the car.
Schwennsen & Nelson play "loose/tight", with their two guitars busily searching out
completely different approaches to rhythm and melody yet somehow always complementing
each other; their duet singing is most often a dual lead, though sometimes there's
what the doo-whoppers used to call "fishin' harmony". It all sounds very loose, but the realization
builds that these two are really inside each others' heads. The album is arranged that way, too,
with the laid back, jangly tunes on what would have been side one of vinyl, and tighter,
more rockin' material on "side two". There's a vinyl vibe on Coast Bound Train, sure,
but that's only the roots showing. The songs are about mature relationships and things that grown ups think
about in 2005, without any brooding about what's past and gone. If the music happens to occasionally
remind us adults of, say, Brewer and Shipley, well that's OK and it's about time somebody did!
The album is tastefully produced and handsomely packaged and was made with worthy cameo appearances
by the legendary Alice Stuart and fiddle ace Jon Parry, back in town to help his buddies. Go get it.
(Tom Petersen) Victory Music