I have travelled all over the US along with a taste of Canada and more than just a taste of Mexico, all be it mostly the sinful excursions of my youth into various border towns up and down the California to Texas borders. So, I can understand how someone from these parts may be able to create some exciting new music, but Chris Altman isn’t from these parts. Oh, he’s from south of the border alright, way south, like south of the freakin’ equator – Adelaide, Australia to be exact.
His bio stated that he has been influenced, as far as this record is concerned by the likes of Doug Sahm (not in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame), Jerry Jeff Walker, Chuck Berry, and Levon Helm. Folks I’m here to tell you that there ain’t nothing but good that will come from influences such as these. Mr. Altman has catapulted himself as a worthy enthusiast of these particular artists and their extremely varied talents.
The way he mixes the pedal steel, banjo, and fiddles, with the familiar rock ‘n roll riffs along with vocal harmonization to aid in creating a tribute to his mentors while creating a style that will and should be considered his own is phenomenal, making this album as enjoyable as anything I have heard so far this year.
Every song on the record is absolute dyno-fucking-mite! They [the songs] are all so well crafted and the producer has it mixed so expertly well, that it is almost seamless for the entire record.
The band consists of Altmann on lead vocals and drums, dobro player Jeb Cardwell (Backwood Creatures, Johnny 7), acoustic guitarist and mandolin player Mike Hager (The Idle Hoes, Number 2), lead guitarist Paul Thomas (Weddings Parties Anything, Huxton Creepers) and double bassist Zane Lynd (Subaudible Hum). Vocal accompaniment on the album comes from a who’s who in the roots music scene featuring the likes of Van & Cal Walker, Sarah Carroll (GIT/The Junes), Susannah Espie (GIT/Suzannah Espie & The Last Word), and Nick Murphy (The Anyones). In the Melbourne area of Australia these talented musicians are considered to be somewhat of a super group.
Chris Altmann’s “Que Paso” (Ridin’ High Records) was released in September and is not to be missed. Even though Mr. Altmann hails from Australia, he has recorded some damn good American roots muic.
‘Rebel’ Rod says to check it out.