ARTIST: NY Country
ALBUM: ‚ÄúThe Woodshop Session‚ÄĚ (No label listed)
Country music in the 845 area code isn‚Äôt exactly flourishing these days, but there‚Äôs a Hudson Valley band called NY Country is trying to challenge stereotypes about the ability and/or qualifications of anyone who lives above the Mason-Dixon Line to play country. This project features singer/drummer Anthony Polizzi, guitarist Barry Craft and harp man Rick Surrano.
Kicking off with ‚ÄúNY Country,‚ÄĚ this song harks back to the days straight ahead yet rockin‚Äô country ala John Anderson. ‚ÄĚHow Could You Hurt Me‚ÄĚ turns the amps up for more dirt, while ‚ÄúSmoke Rings‚ÄĚ brings it back to front porch-pickin‚Äô good times. ‚ÄúMy Father‚Äôs Friends‚ÄĚ is sentimental and sweet, while ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs My Mountain‚ÄĚ kicks up its heels and ‚ÄúTwo Drinks‚ÄĚ just smokes.
Polizzi‚Äôs voice is capable. There is a lot of heart in this project, and that is infectious. Guitarist Craft rises to the occasion with some blistering solos and tasteful fills, as does the killer harp of Surrano.
Yes, country is country, wherever you are on the map, and this is the proof.
David Malachowski is a guitarist, producer and freelance journalist living in Woodstock