Album: Supreme Macaroni Co. Ltd. (2008)

Artist: Aaron Bowen

Label: self-released

Where available/price: iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, or aaronbowenmusic.com for $9.99.

Songs: 1) When the Fall of Rome 2) Song #2 3) Strawberry Wine 4) Jeanne 5) Mr. A 6) The Bird 7) Here I Go Again 8) Sheet Ghost 9) It’s Always Raining Here 10) Don’t Mind Me 11) Teacup Boat 12) Macaroni

Band: Aaron Bowen (banjo, guitar, lap steel, accordion, bells, piano)

Aaron Bowen’s CD proves that improbable combinations of instruments and genres can work. He mixes a Dixieland-style banjo, lonesome lap steel guitar, and a wonky accordion with his own syrupy vocals in a way that honors past eras of popular music while creating an innovative and relevant work of art. The project states boldly, “There’s more out there than what we’re used to hearing.”

Aaron’s lyrics express the anticipation and joy of human interaction, chance meetings, and romance. Using classic imagery such as tire swings, boats, and picket fences, his words draw a nostalgic motif that fits the sound of sometimes-forgotten instruments. Tinkling pianos and stories of twilight by rivers inspire reminiscences of adolescent curiosity and innocence.

While the voice isn’t Van Morrison and the words aren’t exactly Dylan, Aaron’s doing something original. He might not reach epic popularity on the dive-bar beer-stage circuit, but he’ll serve as a reminder that there’s always an interesting option.

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