Hamilton's Chopped Liver Showcase Their Humble Bluegrass Charm on 'D.B. Cooper'

Hamilton's Chopped Liver Showcase Their Humble Bluegrass Charm on 'D.B. Cooper'
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Mainly comprised of original songs and recorded live off the floor, D.B. Cooper is a satisfying exploration of the bluegrass genre by the promising Canadian band, Chopped Liver. The Hamilton-based trio is comprised of Andrew Ivens on guitar, Adam Vrankulj on double bass and Victor Vrankulj on banjo. 

The album's strength is undeniably its original content. Tracks like "Strike" and "Down to The Hollow" offer thoughtful lyrics and interesting chord progressions. The album is more introspective — and even political — than most bluegrass, and as such, occupies a middle ground between traditional bluegrass and acoustic folk.

The vocals on D.B. Cooper take a backseat to the instruments. While this choice does showcase some moments of truly excellent playing, it also detracts from the harmonies. This is particularly evident in the opening track, "I Know You Rider," which many will inevitably compare to the iconic high-energy version by Seldom Scene. Perhaps if there was a mandolin or fiddle to cut through the mix, or if there were stronger harmonies throughout, the album's overall feel wouldn't be quite so subdued. D.B. Cooper has some kinks — most self-produced projects do — but that's part of its humble charm. (Independent)