The Underhill Family Orchestra – Tell Me That You Love Me (CD)

Sometime in the past few years, someone made the decision that modern rock bands were free to add liberal amounts of funk, soul and creativity to their sound and (thankfully) the floodgates seem to have finally opened. On the heels of some of the great eclectic Americana, folk and R&B musicians that seem to have surfaced from nowhere – folks like Nathaniel Rateliff, The Wood Brothers and Shovels & Rope – Alabama’s The Underhill Family Orchestra add their impressive 5-part vocal arrangements to the bill.

Their debut, Tell Me That You Love Me, covers a lot of ground with just 10 tracks, from the horn-heavy funk on “When the Trumpet Sounds,” the soulful call and response on “Wooden Hymnal in C,” the delicate ballad “On the Wind” through to the gothic/almost hard rock gospel of “Oh Spirit, Bring Me Home.” The band’s refusal to stick to a specific genre template on this record just adds to their appeal. With such an impressive opening salvo, it will be interesting to see what they offer for a second act.

The Underhill Family Orchestra – Tell Me That You Love Me/10 tracks/Skate Mountain Records/2018

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