It’s been over twenty years, half a million miles on tour, and Todd Mack has gone and done it. The former member of the Athens, Georgia band, Rueben Kincaid and soloist for The Griswolds, has made a lip smacking album, you can only describe as a spicy bowl of gumbo, teeming with different flavors, blending in a satisfying texture that could make your upper lip sweat from the heat of it all.
"Yonder The Big Blue Holler" is a sweet bundle of fun lovin' ditties and driving barn storm rock you can't help but adore. Todd twangs like a country crooner in “Already Gone and Only Halfway There,” then suddenly, he’s laying down the law in the grunge driven “Circumstance”. When you’re not looking, he makes a turn down south to a Bourbon Street R&B rocker “Devil Outta Me”. He also borrows The Traveling Wilburys’ “Poor House,” giving the song a humorous country/western melodramatic touch. With this hearty mix of styles and sounds, the album comes across like a soundtrack for a road trip through America.! This is evident in “How High The Corn”, a simple instrumental, conjuring wide prairies, reminiscent of Bella Fleck’s “Big Country”. “Take Me Home” starts up with galloping guitar picking and sweet harmonies. Think of a sweet sunny day, and this song is right there with you. Mack’s band is tight, and captures a comforting, rustic, autumnal state, giving the sense of chilled hickory scented air. Yet, the album ends in a somber note with “Beautiful Angel,” a slow, contemplative nod to good friend Daniel Pearl, the famed Wall Street Journalist who died tragically at the hands of terrorists. Pearl and Mack were band mates back in 1991 when they formed the group Cosmic Gypsies, and this homage is touching.
After being part of the music scene in Atlanta, Mack is now based on the Massachusetts side of the Berkshires, where he is a maven in the local music community. When not producing bands on his label (Off- The-Beat-N-Track Records), he writes children’s books, and spins CD’s on his radio show on WKZE–FM in Sharon, CT where indie music is alive and well. “Yonder The Big Blue Holler” is a gem harvested out of those rolling hills, and it provides a sumptuous blend of sound. The album is available on Todd Mack’s site (www.toddmack.net), and on Amazon.