Four More Local Albums You (Probably) Haven't Heard

Published: March 22, 2017
One of the blessings of our local music scene is its sheer magnitude and bounty. It's also a curse. Seven Days receives so many album submissions that we often don't find space to review everything that crosses our path in a timely fashion. But our mission is to get through everything that comes across the music desk. No matter what. Here are four local albums that maybe flew under your radar. Some represent the outermost boundaries of local music. Others simply slipped through the cracks. All are worthy of your attention. Rick & the All Star Ramblers Western Swing Band, Green Mountain Standard Time (Airflyte Records, CD, digital download) Once a cowboy, always a cowboy. Rick Norcross is Vermont's go-to guy for the thigh-slapping sounds of Western swing. The Academy of Western Artists has nominated Norcross and his sextet, the All Star Ramblers Western Swing Band, multiple times at its annual awards. Norcross even took home the prize for Best Western Swing Song in 2015 for "You Can't Make It Up." Green Mountain Standard Time is his latest collection of Vermont-via-Lone-Star-State tunes. Traditional Western swing blends hillbilly country, Dixieland jazz and even polka with traditional swing. Norcross and co. are the local masters of tight, three-part harmonies, whirling organs, plucky accordion, bouncing bass lines and lots o' strings. Included on the album's nearly 40 minutes are both covers and originals. Norcross takes on Hank Williams' novelty song "Fly Trouble" as well as fiddler contemporary Larry Franklin's "Texoma Bound." On the original songs, Norcross' signature Western style melds seamlessly with iconic Vermont, often making hyper-local references that only a Vermonter would get. "Shelburne Yesterday" is an example. Norcross yearns for the days of yesteryear when his beloved Chittenden County life was simpler. Well, maybe not simpler, but more familiar. He recalls eating pickled eggs at the Shelburne Inn and Halloween shenanigans involving outhouse tipping on the Shelburne Green. "They Say You Can't Take It With You (When You Go)" is a gospel-inspired number that turns the similarly phrased colloquialism on its head. According to Norcross, he can take it all with him, and he delivers a silly litany of items with which he plans to cross over. He sings, "I'm gonna take your burger flipper / I'm gonna take your rowboat skipper / I'm gonna take it with me when I go." rickandtheramblers.com — J.A. Subversive Intentions, Every Sound Is…
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