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Funky Nashville
Hitch A Ride
215 Records

The trio of Funky Nashville are some of the least likely candidates anyone would expect to play country music. For starters, the members are all from Copenhagen, Denmark, which means that none of them are from America's South. But if you strip away such pre-conceived ideas affiliated with country music artists, you will be able to appreciate Funky Nashville's proficiency for playing modern country western pastorals and their inventiveness for cross breeding club music and blues-pop aspects into their country-tinted mixtures.

Funky Nashville's members Sverre Stein Nielsen (lead vocals/acoustic guitars), Mads Mazanti (bass/backup vocals), and Thomas Engelhardt (guitars/backup vocals) formed the band in 2001 and released their debut album A Good Day To Drive in 2003. Their latest follow up disc Hitch A Ride continues to show the threesome's affinity for country western twang in their guitars hewed like Dwight Yoakam, and adorned with segments of Mariachi trumpets, flamenco guitars, and drippings of bluesy vocals. They garner a modern country hybrid using complementing additives, which branch country music into dance club music similarly to Shania Twain. Songs like "The Witch Queen Of New Orleans" and "My Corazon" insert funkiness into the country laced fibrils and bridge multiple pop influences to amplify the dance vibe. It's like the Scissor Sisters meet Johnny Cash.

Funky Nashville also likes to incorporate Spanish flavors into the mixtures with flamenco spreads on "California Mansion Girl" that are accented with some country-corded boinging effects. The rattling percussion and tangy guitar chords on "Red River" are reminiscent of modern country's Little Big Town while the romantic consoles infiltrating "Mexican Stars" and "La Luna" have a country western thematic like Junior Brown along a roughshod cut melody. Their songs incline towards a western romanticism and give country music an invigorating rinse.

Funky Nashville also have a few numbers which submerge their country-pop threads into dark bass tones like on "Eerie Old Town," "Gone Away," and the title track which cause the instrument clips to silhouette the echoing vocals. The title track also has bull fighting music motifs, again bringing a Spanish influence into the instrument's zing. The final track "Love" hampers acoustic guitars and unvarnished vocals that are incrementally touched up with shavings of guitar flange and a steady bluesy-brushed rhythm. The modern country-pop serenade tapers into a cross-section of Ryan Cabrera's pop and Dierks Bentley's country.

One of the last successful artists to bridge country and blues-pop together were the UK's Dire Straits. Funky Nashville does it like them, but with a modern flair. They may not be hailed as American country but they make country music with a lot of funk-embossed dance beats spangled with Spanish piping and bluesy sensibilities. It's a modern version of country music, a hybrid that breaks down barriers and inspires others to join in the party. They bridge country and club music like few artists have done before them, adding tints to country music that broadens its dimensions. Funky Nashville shows that country music has successfully affected musicians abroad.

-Susan Frances

Track Listing:
1. Hitch A Ride
2. Gone Away
3. Mexican Stars
4. Ain't No Cowboy
5. California Mansion Girl
6. El Paso Bound
7. Red River
8. My Corazon
9. La Luna
10. Eerie Old Town
11. Love
12. Everything We Do
13. Searching For Love
14. The Witch Queen Of New Orleans

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