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Tennessee Before Daylight
No 411 Records

Take a very promising southern rock-country band and add the indisputable keyboard talents of Widespread Panic's own Jojo Hermann and what would you get? Well, something akin to Widespread Panic, only missing all the senseless hippy jam nonsense, instead focused on writing concise and brilliant songs. That is just what Outformation brings to the table on their debut release, Tennessee Before Daylight. The album is produced by the aforementioned Jojo, and so retains quite a bit of the production sound of Widespread Panic, but the similarities basically end there. The songs are pretty concise, with only the closing track "Long Lonely Road" reaching much beyond the five-minute mark and attempting to create an orchestral sense of various movements combined into one piece. With that one exception, these songs are listenable and just plain good. The songwriting is first rate, the playing is impeccable, and the sound of the record is truly resplendent. "Stone In My Shoe" is a great track with chiming guitars and cool drumming stutters that actually reminds me of the best moments of Phish, once again without the jamming. "Can't Change The Past" skips into a country train rhythm, with dazzling piano work and evocative lyrics. "Center Stage" is a softly rolling track filled with tremeloed guitars and lilting drumming that recalls the finest hours of classic crossover bands like The Moody Blues.

This is an incredible debut record from a talented and impressive young band. If you can separate Outformation from the Widespread Panic connection, and listen with a clean palette, what you are sure to come away with is a peaceful sense of things being right in the world. The music is country enough to be country, without having any Nashville airs, and rock enough to fit into just about anyone's listening tastes. Of course, if you are one of those hippy jam-band lovers, then I suppose the music on Tennessee Before Daylight will appeal to you as well… if the right substances are consumed the songs will probably last and last and last.

-L. Keane

Track Listing:
1. Game On
2. Tennessee Before Daylight
3. Stone In My Shoe
4. 90
5. Brand New
6. Can't Change The Past
7. 'Bout My Money
8. Center Stage
9. Hey
10. Long Lonely Road

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