The Original Snakeskins

by | 26 Apr, 2011

Reviewed by Greg McGrath

The Original Snakeskins latest album follows their very successful first album, We Got Trouble which received no less that five nominations in the 2007 Victorian and National COuntry Music awards.

This new album Along For The Ride, opens with the simple sounds of beautiful and melodic guitar played by Drew Gallus offering the promise of something good to come. Anne Unger joins in with her strong and soulful voice singing Darkest Hour written by Drew Gallus. This is a song from the road and about the road, life’s choices, love and loss.

The album features a variety of songs, mostly original, offering up an exhibition of textures and moods which reflects the bands outstanding musical skills and talents.

The second track Jesus and Jezebel was written by Steve Hyde, and is a lively work reflecting on the never-ending struggle between good and evil in man and woman. The group does justice to Bill Monroe’s Rocky Road Blues with the mournful sound of Alan Rose’s well-timed harmonica. The group also share the spotlight as Drew Gallus takes the vocal lead on a self penned  song Traveller’s Prayer. This os a lively piece with fine contributions on mandolin, guitar and harmonica.

… a musical travelogue to life and love where everyone gets a window seat… The Original Snakeskins.

Perhaps my favourite track on this album is the traditional ballad Life’s Railway To Heaven. This song has been done by some of the best over the years, including Maybelle Carter and Johnny Cash. Anne Unger does this song immense credit. Such a strong and soulful rendition supported by wonderful harmonies from Steve Hyde and Drew Gallus.

The Original Snakeskins comprises, vocalist Anne Unger, Andrew Langton Joy on guitar, mandolin banjo and ukulele, Drew Gallus on guitar, pedal steel and Dobro, Steve Hyde on double bass and Alan Rose on harmonica. This album also features guests Cathy Boerema on fiddle and Quentin Frayne on drums.

While not strictly a bluegrass band, this group from Melbourne delivers a rich blend of roots influenced country and contemporary music that would be welcome in most any record collection.