Brent Amaker and the Rodeo
Year of the Dragon
Fin Records
Street: 06.04
Brent Amaker and the Rodeo = C.W. McCall + Deadbolt + Ernest Tubb + Cake
When it comes to strange and different bands, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo is at the top of my list. I feel like there’s something I just don’t get. Is it performance art? Is it alternative country? Are they deconstructing country? Brent Amaker’s deep drone of a voice gives a wit and an edge to lyrics he spouts, and the Rodeo chugs along behind him adding atmosphere and depth to something that should be as compelling as it comes across. Reminiscent of old country story songs that were usually about truckers, Amaker can construct such songs about things as simple as his suitcase, or tequila. I think it may just be the simplicity of these country tunes with a seemingly crazy personality performing them that captivates me. Year of the Dragon is not anything drastically new in the Rodeo catalogue, but it is executed to a point that elevates their sound—at least as much as this band could manage or expect. –James Orme