For anyone who can’t take Boris Garcia seriously based on the band’s tongue-in-cheek name, the presence of Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone should validate the premise of the group as well as the music of Around Some Corner.
It doesn’t hurt that the voice of Bob Stirner recalls no one so much as the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn during “Knockin’ On Wood.” As Chip Denoyers’ pedal steel winds and curls around the vocal, this opening cut hearkens to the rootsier side of the latter day versions of that iconic band. On the other hand, the piano-dominated “Mary Field” transcends such easy comparisons clearly illustrating how this fifth album of Boris Garcia’s confounds any ongoing temptations to pigeonhole the ensemble.
Carbone’s production provides impeccable sound that serves as a distraction from the somewhat precious attitude permeating this material (mirrored in the cartoon images of the packaging). If Boris Garcia took itself more seriously, though, the group might be off-putting, but their lighthearted approach suits the acoustic flavor of “3 Steps,” among other such cuts of the eleven comprising the record.
There’s no denying the lilt alighting “Captain of the Crew” either. In his third stint producing Boris Garcia, Carbone makes sure the rhythm section at the bottom of the mix accurately balances Bud Burroughs’ work on bouzouki, accordion and mandolin; his instrumental versatility for the sextet extends to his work on keyboards (including Mellotron?!).
Around Some Corner would definitely benefit from more upbeat tracks such as the latter and “Desiree,” not to mention the greater use of the electric likes of Stirner’s guitar, slide and otherwise. Extended improvisation could also enhance exercises in style such as the stock stomp of “Another Day;” the modified reggae beat at the foundation of “Message At Twilight” also sounds like an ideal gateway to extemporize the likes of which happens on the extended instrumental section of “Waters Blue” where the jam amplifies the imagery in the song’s title.
The next logical step in the quirky career path of Boris Garcia might well be a full-length concert release (2006’s Jam Tracks is but twenty-plus minutes long). The live setting would seem to be the ideal means by which the band could proffer its multiple virtues even more assertively than on Around Some Corner and thereby righteously challenge itself as well as its fan base.