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The Curly Wolf: Calling Your Bluff

Howling rootsabilly from the Bay Area.

Formed by Bay Area singer-guitarist Grant Benziger, The Curly Wolf follow 2013’s Both Barrels with another energised shot of what’s been described as “roots-country western, bluegrass, honky-punk and rockabilly/psychobilly”.

Joined by the hell-for-leather rhythm section of bassist Matt Pliskin and drummer Mike Bouchard, Benziger and producer Jason Mater pull in mandolin, pedal steel, trumpet, cello and violin to flesh out their ham-slapping accelerators, including Diesel Blood and Grow American, and garnish heartfelt ballads such as I’ve Won.

It might be somewhat harsh to think that Mumford And Sons have opened music industry doors to roots-driven music in the US, but The Curly Wolf operate with enough of their own hoedown soul to keep their eyes on their roots rather than any latest trend.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!