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MUSIC REVIEW (Rock - Celtic)
Eggleston, Eric and the Flavour Vendors
Passin' Through

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Label: Independent Released: 11/1/2001


If one believes in generalizations, a case can be made for a certain consistency in male Canadian rock: a nasal, sometimes droning vocal delivery with an occasional country twang showing through the cracks, acoustic and electric guitars also sometimes betraying a country influence, a strong sense of melody, and literate lyrics. As evidence please see: The Pursuit of Happiness, The Lowest of the Low, Blue Rodeo, 54-40, The Tragically Hip, and many more. Ottawa artist Eric Eggleston can now be added to the fray. Eggleston honed his songwriting chops through three releases with his former band, Little Crazy White Guy (a strong candidate for goofiest band name ever). Now performing frequently around town, both solo and with his backing band The Flavour Vendors, Eggleston's maturity as a singer and songwriter is evident in his live shows and on his latest release "Passin' Through". In the works for over a year, the album evolved as a batch of older songs were mostly replaced one by one with new songs which were written during the creation of the album. The result is a 10-song and a batch of unreleased tracks, some of which may see the light on an EP to be released in the near future. "Passin' Through" is a carefully crafted, meticulously produced collection of songs touring through a variety of styles from the straight-ahead hooky rock of "Summer Sang" and "Doin' Fine" to celtic romps like "Ladybug" and "Celtic Xmas" and in-betweeners like "Violet" and "Pay the Fare". Eggleston even managed to secure the talents of that Canadian fiddle icon Ashley MacIsaac to add a little sparkle to a few of the celtic numbers. Not content to chug away at a steady pace, the album also features a few stylistic segues including the touching ballad "Brittle Pawn", the latin-grunge (?) fusion of "Licking My Fingers" and the jazzy "Where The Dames Are Swell". Comparisons could be made to many of the above-mentioned Canadian groups, Eggleston at times sounding like a dead ringer for The Lowest of the Low's Ron Hawkins or TPOH's Moe Berg, and even Ben Folds on occasion. The addition of horns, fiddle, accordion and shimmering backing vocals only serve to sweeten the mix in this already impressive brew.

Stephen K. Donnelly Email WWW

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