It’s over, folks. Come out from under your house clothes, carry those rags to the fire pit out back.
She’s gone, Old Miss. Winter, the wrecker that she is and always will be.
When I felt the sweet touch of the sun hit my face the other day, well, it was bliss. So no winter. Something in my mind broke open, something clogged with vast amounts of winter feedings.
I felt a new craving descending on me. Suddenly, I broke out my Joe Cuba Sexltet CD and listened to it for three hours as I peeled around Nashua, Keene and Peterborough, windows down, heat OFF. “Latin Boogaloo” was calling me home after a six month hiatus. This is what I walk around my yard listening too during the summer months, burning the night off.
And that first jump in the lake of the season should be accompanied by something new or from the past that’s been buried in the folds of your music library since the fall. After a stint in Cuba, I found myself heavily embedded into a series of new songs by a band from Warner called The Dobro’s. They have a CD out called “Covered Bridge” and it arrives at the perfect time of year.
The title track starts with a simple traveling beat, one that welcomes you into the early afternoon river waters somewhere off Route 89. Slowly, the people make their way through the tree line, clad in shorts and tanks, ready to turn themselves over the Gods of Good Times.
Towels are thrown onto suntanned rocks, tents rise from under the black pines, rafts are blown to life, all while Luke Dobrowski reminds us that, “Like the water under the bridge, the time ain’t gone to be a kid.”
This is the music of the Dobros, four young men named Luke and Ben Dobrowski, Colin Nevins and Chris Span-Weitz that have been making folk and country music for more years than their faces will reveal. Attitude free, passionate about agriculture, about their hometown, about the people they love and the music that is born out of those things, the Dobros have really upped their game on this latest effort.
Often traditional in sound but self-described as a “live” band, the Dobros have evolved, gone more electric, contemporary even on some cuts.
“Why not utilize the full potential of our multi-instrumentalists,” says brother Ben Dombroski, who sings, plays organ and guitar on “Covered Bridge,” which you can get through Main Street Book End in Warner.
“Beer:30” is a prime example of this evolution. I’ve seen the boys perform in the studio many times, usually with a banjo, acoustic guitars and brushes. Never have I seen them “radio rock” as they do on this song. Bordering on cliche bro-country, the song knows what it’s doing and does it well.
“The beers on ice, that’s so nice. That’s whats on tap tonight.”
“Ever Since You” starts off with a punk Tex-Mex kind of beat. This is the Dobros, right? Because the boys are now tripping on some hillbilly rock. It’s great! Bathed in regret for a passion that just won’t die, Luke again delivers on this tongue and cheek personal beat down.
The perfectly produced “Jaelle” showcases the spectacular voice of Colin Nevin. For years, I’ve considered Nevins voice one of the very best in the state. Like Jerry Richardson of Beechwood, there’s both power and ease in his vocals, a rare gift for a singer.
“On The Farm” starts with a jitterbug beat and I half expect Miss Maybell and Slimpickin’s to come rolling through the door, fit up with a washboard and a Sunday hat. Instead, Ben Dobroski takes the lead on this one, sending us back to the barn where the beer is cold and the dirt needs kicking with the help of a pretty girl. Lamenting about labor, life on the farm and its endlessly beautiful, the guitar lick stuck in the middle of the song really brings things home, George Jones style, like your sitting with a beer at “Roberts” in Nashville.
If every season has a soundtrack, then “Covered Bridge” is one I’m happy to cross.
Rob Azevedo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org