Long Way 'Round

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Although Acoustic Syndicate have only recorded a few albums, that makes them an established band in the fairly new phenomena of jam bands. Long Way Round delivers exactly what fans have grown to like about the group: upbeat, tuneful songs, solid instrumental work, and bright vocals. There are nice story-songs like "The Blue Bird Train" and funky pieces custom-made for concert jams like "Talk." There also seems to be an attempt to offer more vocal variety on Long Way Round, and the instrumental dexterity -- guitars, banjos, electric guitar, and saxophones -- gives the band a distinct sound. While this approach has produced a solid album, how one relates to the band's ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Although Acoustic Syndicate have only recorded a few albums, that makes them an established band in the fairly new phenomena of jam bands. Long Way Round delivers exactly what fans have grown to like about the group: upbeat, tuneful songs, solid instrumental work, and bright vocals. There are nice story-songs like "The Blue Bird Train" and funky pieces custom-made for concert jams like "Talk." There also seems to be an attempt to offer more vocal variety on Long Way Round, and the instrumental dexterity -- guitars, banjos, electric guitar, and saxophones -- gives the band a distinct sound. While this approach has produced a solid album, how one relates to the band's lyrics will depend on the listener. Acoustic Syndicate keep things upbeat and positive, which is refreshing, but the lyrics can seem overly obvious and forced. A skilled songwriter like Robert Hunter would've never told the listener that "Sugar Magnolia" just wanted to be free or spelled out that the "Dire Wolf" represented death. Bryon and Steve McMurry, however, don't mind telling instead of showing exactly what's going on, which leaves little to the listener's imagination. Some listeners may also have a problem with song length on Long Way Round. "Hypocrite Smile," for instance, has a tuneful chorus, but the verses meander a bit, which becomes monotonous after six minutes. And the bouncy "Long Way Round" written by Larry Keel is likable enough, but also overstays its welcome. It's doubtful that Acoustic Syndicate fans will be bothered by either the lyrics or the lengths of the songs, since that's probably what they've come to expect from the band. For them, Long Way Round will be another solid performance from one of the brightest groups in the jam band constellation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2004
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • UPC: 015891399324
  • Catalog Number: 3993
  • Sales rank: 282,830

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Long Way Round (5:17)
  2. 2 Talk (4:28)
  3. 3 The Blue Bird Train (4:57)
  4. 4 Hypocrite Smile (6:41)
  5. 5 The Rhythm of Us (4:14)
  6. 6 They Come This Way (4:44)
  7. 7 Carry the World (5:45)
  8. 8 The Pilot (6:38)
  9. 9 Been There Again (4:32)
  10. 10 Bound (4:08)
  11. 11 Wake (1:10)
  12. 12 Just as It Happened (4:55)
  13. 13 A Prayer for Solace (6:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Acoustic Syndicate Primary Artist
Jay Sanders Electric Bass, Bass Guitar, Double Bass, Upright Bass, Group Member
Bryon McMurry Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Vocals, Electric Banjo, Group Member
Fitz McMurry Drums, Vocals, Group Member
Steve McMurry Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals, Group Member
Aaron Price Piano, Hammond Organ, Pump Organ, Guest Appearance
Jeremy Saunders Saxophone
Technical Credits
Randy LeRoy Mastering
Lloyd Maines Producer, Audio Production
Chris Mitchell Engineer
Acoustic Syndicate Producer, Audio Production
Larry Keel Composer
Bryon McMurry Composer
Steve McMurry Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A good fusion-rock groove

    Time – 64:26 -- Acoustic Syndicate’s second album on the Sugar Hill label continues a journey into a zone that is best characterized as fusion-rock. Really not so acoustic as their name may imply, the band seems to be gravitating towards a more danceable, electric sound. Since their last album, Acoustic Syndicate has added Jeremy Saunders on saxaphone. The rest of the band is Steve McMurry (guitar, vocals), Bryon McMurry (banjo, vocals), Fitz McMurry (percussion, vocals), and Jay Sanders (bass). Special guests include Aaron Price (piano, organ) and Mars Farris (electric guitar, National steel on the opening cut). The genesis of Acoustic Syndicate may be, in part, due to their association with producer and Texas music legend Lloyd Maines. Their musical maturity has taken them into energetic rock, rhythm & blues, reggae and jazz. I hear few bluegrass or folk influences on “Long Way Round.” At the nucleus of Acoustic Syndicate’s songs are Steve McMurry’s lead vocals and guitar playing. With the exception of the title cut written by Larry Keel, Steve and his cousins wrote all of the material on this project. Standouts are “Talk,” “The Blue Bird Train,” “They Come This Way,” “Bound”, “and “Been There Again.” A few of the cuts span nearly seven minutes apiece. This could have resulted in “Hypocrite Smile,” “The Pilot,” and “A Prayer for Solace” bordering on tedium but the band’s extended breaks, changes in dynamics, and the McMurry’s harmonies pull these lengthy numbers off successfully. “The Pilot” is a tribute to John Hartford. A little more of Bryon’s dobro in the mix of “A Prayer for Solace” would have been nice. Acoustic Syndicate establishes a good groove. They refuse to be constrained by musical sideboards, and their growth has taken them further into the realm of rock. Perhaps they’d be better named Electric Syndicate…or at least Acoustic-Electric Syndicate perhaps? Steve McMurry once called their music “an accidental evolution,” and it has drawn comparisons to Blues Traveler, Bruce Hornsby, early Dave Matthews Band, and Widespread Panic. Their danceable signature vibe has a little banjo, mandolin and dobro in the mix, but it’s predominantly electric instruments and drums. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews