Up Popped Pancho
The Band: This quartet features seasoned veterans of the Austin Texas music scene making exciting contemporary music with roots in 6os soul and rock. Patterson Barrett (vocals, multiple instruments, production), Ben Cocke (vocals, guitar), Ernie Gammage [aka E-Sky] (vocals, bass, guitar) and Tommy Taylor (vocals, drums). Solid songwriting, strong vocals and inspired performances are the hallmarks of the group, and the effortless interplay of these four is obvious both in their live shows and their recordings. The CD: It's a little misleading to call 'Up Popped Pancho!' a debut recording, considering the number of records the members of The Newmatics have appeared on. Despite this, the record explodes with youthful enthusiasm. The music harkens back to the soul and rock of the 60s, but the themes here are all grown up, from the guarded skepticism of Call It Love, to the sunny optimism of Have A Little Faith. I Don't Want To Go tackles issues of mortality while sounding like it will be right at home in a variety of current radio formats. Although the vocal duties are spread throughout the band, the group seems to sing with a single consciousness, giving voice to the legions of the loved and lost, and the still-believers. Included in this collection are a couple of interesting covers: It's Not The Spotlight, a Gerry Goffin/Barry Goldberg penned ballad, delivered with a hint of brit-rock styling, and a surprising version of If I Were A Carpenter that has to be heard to be appreciated.