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NEW ADVENTURES

New Adventures cover

LOST RIVER

TWO DOLLAR BASH


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Rock'n'Reel, UK September 2012 (5/5)

Two Dollar Bash have been in existence for nigh on fifteen years but, with their three members spread across Europe and Haiti, it's taken them time to come up with their fourth album. And yet with Mark Mulholland, Joe Armstrong and Matt de Harp contributing their own songs fairly evenly, « New Adventures » is a surprisingly cohesive set.

Opening with Armstrong's fiddle-led instrumental « Skunk River Rag », Mulholland's title track sets the scene for the rest of the album, with its late-period Byrds 'cosmic cowboyu' feel.

Recorded over various on-the-hoof sessions with a revolving door of guest musicians, including fiddle, organ and pedal-steel, the quality of songs is superb throughout, with Armstrong's « Same Old Lie » and the Wilco-ish ballad « Pioneertown » being particular standouts. Easily a contender for non-American Americana album of the year.

Rhythm and Booze, UK, April 2012 (9/10)

This week has been full of listening to wonderful new discoveries and reaquainting with a few old favourites, one such newbie (well to me anyway) is the wonderous stripped down sounds of Two Dollar Bash, a trio of singer-songwriters (two Scots and a Frenchman) combining to create delicious rootsy folk and stripped back country.

The band originally formed back in 2003, since then they’ve performed all over Europe and the US, taking in three successive years at the prestigious SXSW Festival in Texas along the way. The band have also found time to release three critically acclaimed albums before heading bak into the studios last summer to begin writing their fourth full length release, New Adventures. The band members took their time writing and recording their latest album, recording when time and location permitted (the three members are scattered across different continents),the band could have recorded their contributions separately but prefered to gather in one place when available, in a bid to make something more intimate.

And in truth the first word I’d use to describe this mostly acoustic affair would be intimate, followed by warm and perhaps spellbinding, you see Two Dollar Bash seem to have taken a 60′s era Laurel Canyon folk influence added a touch of straight up country, thrown in a few barroom dust kickers and come up with a uniquely organic, spirited and somewhat deliciously raw sounding roots album that lovers of say Guthrie, Cash, (Harvest era) Neil Young, CSN or Dylan will lap up in their droves.

The album opens a short snappy instrumental that features finger plucked banjo, acoustic guitars and sawing fiddle, setting the mood brilliantly for the rustic treats ahead. Two Dollar Bash follow up with the stripped back Americana of the Mark Mulholland helmed title track, complete with a lovely harmony enriched chorus and an instantly infectious melody that instantly compells your foot to tap whilst you gleefully hum along. Matt de Harp crops up next with the shit kicking straight up country of Blame It On Me, a track that could have been lifted straight out of Nashville with it’s combination of banjo, fiddle and world weary vocals.

From there on the aformentioned Mark Mulholland, Matt de Harp and fellow songwriter Joe Armstrong offer up a fine selection of prime time folk, stripped down country and rousing roots rockers from the gorgeous early morning sun-kissed San Francisco Morning to the twanging country rock of Same Old Lie via the Dylan goes country like duet (with Sister Chain) Floating Through and then there’s the driving Beatles-esque rock of Take It From You, showcasing a completely different side to the bands sound.

Whilst it would be easy to digest each and every morsel on here, it’s only right I leave something for the listener to discover for themselves, however I will say that no review of New Adventures would be complete with a mention of the traditional Irish drinking song influenced Rolling Down The Road, a rollicking folky tale of drinking and avoiding trouble or the brilliant heartfelt and poignant singer-songwriter fare of Foster’s Goodbye.

New Adventures is a real delight from start to finish as Two Dollsr Bash manage to combine all the essential elements of roots in one handy package.

Maverick (UK) 2012 (4/5) (link to original page)

It's not the first time that the Europeans and Caledonians have produced high quality Americana folk-country music, where you could close your eyes and hear Neil Young or CSNY; think Ed Vanderveen, think Cosmic Rough Riders. The difference with Two Dollar Bash is that you recognise the references but you get much more besides. NEW ADVENTURES is an exuberant 21st century showcase for three highly talented young musicians-two Scotsmen, Mark Mulholland and Joe Armstrong, and a Parisian, Matt De Harp. They started to play music together nearly twenty years ago, busking in the streets of Prague and have honed their skills and abilities ever since. Between them they play an impressive array of acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandola, harmonica, bass, mandolin, 12 string guitar and percussion-all of which feature to dazzling effect on this album.

It's a brave and neat touch to open an album with an instrumental but that's exactly what Two Dollar Bash do here. "Skunk River Rag" is a lively banjo and fiddle driven piece that would make a fine companion to the classic film soundtrack number from the forty-year-old film DELIVERANCE, the unforgettable "Duelling Banjos." Each band member shares in the songwriting credits. Mulholland penned six of the album's tracks and Armstrong and De Harp contribute four each. They also take turns as lead vocalist throughout the course of NEW ADVENTURES. The title track is one of those songs that grow in stature with repeated listening. Its Byrds-like 12-string cadences and harmony laden chorus could make it a strong choice as a single off the album. Another Mulholland track that really resonates is "San Francisco Morning" with its Dylan-esque JOHN WESLEY HARDING simplicity. The lyrical use of city vignettes has real charm with lines such as 'Austin in the sunshine. There's parties everywhere. Just dive into the music and come back up for air.' A string quartet motif adds to the beauty and timelessness of this song.

There's a quirkiness and sense of introspection to some of De Harp's songs that is reminiscent of the work that the late Ronnie Lane did with his post-Faces band, Slim Chance. Added to this is a certain jauntiness a la Lindisfarne. "Blame It On Me" would sit nicely beside the 1975 single "Don't Try 'N' Change My Mind" while the delightful banjo and harmonica driven "Time With You" is a song of which Alan Hull would have been proud. Original songs yes, but with a mighty fine ancestry!

My favourite track on the album, however, is Armstrong's "Pioneertown." It begins with a fine electric guitar riff that reappears throughout the song. The lyrics are wistful and elegiac and the heartfelt vocals and soaring melody are clearly inspired by the best rock balladry of Gram Parsons. The final two songs on this excellent album contrast strongly with each other. "Take It From You" has all the hallmarks of two hoary old English 1960s bands with the opening garage-style, guttural, rhythm-guitar-stuttering phrases from The Troggs' "I Can't Control Myself" spinning forward into a pop lyric that Ray Davies might have penned for The Kinks' 1966 masterpiece FACE TO FACE. The album closes with the gently reflective "When We Wrote Letters." This final track begins with a sensitive guitar picked phrase as Mulholland produces a nostalgic lyric of how life and love used to be, in the vein of Paul Simon's "The Dangling Conversation." The delicate thoughtful piece completes this set of adventures with quiet and confident assurance. NEW ADVENTURES has clear threads that lead back to other songs, other musicians, other times; yet it is a modern album that ties and loops bygone talents into a tapestry for today. Two Dollar Bash have woven together a skilful album brimful of new and unexpected adventures. Simon Beards

Electric Ghost, UK, April 2012

Their extensive repertoire spans a range of styles including country, blues, folk, bluegrass, rock'n'roll and swing.
The result is a sprightly album with exceptional musicianship and songwriting. Good time music that will bring a smile to your face. Lee Edwards.

Leicester Bangs, UK, Mar 2012

Hey hey, my my! Having just released his solo album 'The Cactus And The Dragon' (reviewed for Leicester Bangs recently by yours truly), here’s Mark Mulholland again, together with Matt De Harp and Joe Armstrong, who make up Two Dollar Bash. There’s a strong cast of ten in the wings as well, who all contribute something to what I can only describe as glorious, ramshackle (in an off-the-cuff way) Americana. The album could have been made yesterday, as the title track and "Take It From You" demonstrate, with such a freshness about them, all bright and shining; or half a century ago (a century ago even!), as "Floating Through" (my favourite as I write this) and "Blame It On Me" reveal their heritage. The tracks tumble out of the speakers, paying no heed to building up a sound, as if the band just turned up, tuned in, and decided to play whatever came to mind from their own personal repertoire... or so it seems. Yes, all of these tracks are written by them, all are original, individually penned by one of the band, and shared in the making.

There’s nothing on here that’s overly derivative ("San Francisco Morning" reminds me of The Schramms, mainly the string arrangement and the vocal, and somewhere else I caught a glimmer of John Prine, but that’s it). There’s nothing on here that is second rate. These fourteen songs are pure, heartfelt beauties, of a matchless, quirky variety, with quality assured, with that ever so slightly shambolic edge that enhances the authenticity of the music. Pure joy, pure and simple.

Fatea, UK, Mar 2012

How's this for cosmopolitan? Two Dollar Bash [presumably a variation of Dylan's Million Dollar Bash ?] are four former buskers [three from Glasgow and one from Paris] who got together in Prague and are now based in Berlin! What's more they play the most authentic-sounding Americana you'll hear this side of the Appalachians.

Their sound is a combination of folk, country and rock and sounds like the Gram Parsons version of the Byrds circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo with Nashville Skyline period Dylan thrown in for good measure. If you like banjo, mandolin, guitar and harmonica with harmony vocals on top, you'll love this.

The album opens with an instrumental "Skunk River Rag" ,which ,as its title suggests sounds like the soundtrack to a western movie . The first song, title track "New Adventures " sounds to me as though it could be an outtake from "Notorious Byrd Brothers " with its chiming guitars and deep harmonies. Excellent stuff!

Next up is the bluegrassy "Blame It On Me ", complete with banjo and fiddle which put me in mind of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. "San Francisco Morning " is an atmospheric acoustic guitar and strings ballad which is just lovely. TDB then launch into "Same Old Lie", a country rock song that wouldn't sound out of place on a Gram Parsons album.

There is a change of style on "Rolling Down the Road", which has a Celtic folk feel to it ,which refelects its subject matter [drinking in Belfast].It also features some fine mandolin . Similarly, "Keep Holding On" has a folky feel with some great harmonica, which reminds me of early Lindisfarne.

Apparently, Two Dollar Bash evolved in Prague in the early 1990's from an acoustic band with the delightful name of The Oul' Bogwarriors. In the years that they have been touring together ever since , they have clearly developed their songwriting, playing and singing skills to a very high standard. If you like authentic-sounding American roots music, give this a listen, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Peter Cowley

American Roots, UK, Mar 2012 (4 stars from 5)

If ever an album evoked the early days of country rock, for me at least, its this one. Ever since the first play, bands such as the Byrds, Burittos, Poco and the lesser known but equally talented Goose Creek Symphony among many others have come to mind. What makes this album even more of a pleasurable listen is the fact that there are only fleeting glimpses of these bands that ‘invented’ the genre. There is no copyist element at work, with this being, within the constraints of that loose genre a highly original recording that pays homage to the past but is very much an album for this century. You could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps one member of this talented trio hails from the Appalachains and the other two from maybe Los Angeles or perhaps San Francisco, but you would be very wrong. Mark Mulholland and Joe Armstrong are both Scots whilst Matt De Harp is a Frenchman!
Their three part harmonies are as good as any I’ve heard for a very long time, the songwriting is excellent as is the playing on these varied songs, with an instrumentation and lead vocalist that seems to change on every track. The songs are all highly melodic band originals with Mulholland contributing six, Armstrong four and De Harp also four. As regards the music, all three handle vocals, with Mulholland also playing acoustic guitar, banjo, electric guitar and mandola, De Harp plays acoustic guitar, mandolin and harmonica and Armstrong handles acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar, banjo, 12 string guitar and percussion. There are snatches of 1960s ‘garage rock’ blended with a little psychedelia from that same decade, even at times having a distinct folksiness just to keep things even more interesting, in fact it would be easy to believe that Two Dollar Bash are a late 1960s or early 1970s west coast band that have cracked time travel but updated the sound on arrival in the 21st century! Not only have they mastered the various aspects of the various styles from that period but they also bring some originality as a bonus.
Some may still say that it is on the edge of being derivative (what music isn’t in some way?) but they have a natural feel for what they play and some of the instrumentation is quite inventive, with that added bonus of some very good original songs. There is a distinct lack of drums on most of the songs and pedal steel is only used on one track, almost qualifying them as a ‘string band,’ but one that plays and sings in a countryish rock style, thus adding more credibility to my ‘originality’ claims! Not everything works perfectly but credit them for trying different elements. On a couple of songs the lead vocals didn’t seem quite right and on another couple the vocals seemed a little deep in the mix, but there is always a saving grace such as the instrumentation having a different feel or the tremendous harmonies easing out every little nit pick.
The songs themselves cover various aspects of life relating to the downtrodden including lost love, even including geography lessons with the excellent San Francisco Morning namechecking San Francisco, Austin, New York and Paris whilst another, the mandolin driven Rolling Down the Road is set in pubs in and around Belfast, yet still fitting easily under the ‘country rock’ banner. The scene is set for something just a little different with album opener, the unusual and melodic instrumental Skunk River Rag with amongst other things some lovely banjo sounds, which is then followed by the albums title track New Adventures, nice mellow sounding country rock with excellent vocals and gorgeous harmonies and jangling guitars making it slightly reminiscent of the Byrds. A slight criticism of this song is that the lead vocals seemed a little far back in the mix and the instrumentation a little ‘busy’ but still a good song. My first impression of Blame it on me, was that it had a similar feel to a band such as ‘Goose Creek Symphony’ and several other early country rock bands with its excellent acoustic instrumentation that includes fiddle and banjo and slightly edgy vocals almost making it defineable as ‘Appalachian country rock!’ Same Old Lie struck me as being a real throwback to the days of Gram Parsons, with its classic country rock sound and vocals similar to Parsons, straining but full of emotion and commitment.
It would be easy to describe every one of the fourteen songs in such glowing terms, but hopefully the point has been made about this excellent album. Probably labeling this album as ‘country rock’ is a little deceptive. Certainly that generic term is where its foundations lie but there is so much more to the music of this tremendously talented trio that I now understand, is in the process of becoming a foursome!

Rootsville, Belgium, Oct 2009

"La grande force du band réside dans le fait que chaque élément écrit ses propres chansons et peut chanter en lead singer, les autres faisant les choeurs ou les harmonies.
Le set y gagne en variété et en intensité. L' interaction entre les quatre protagonistes est phénoménale , sans oublier de mentionner leur magistrale maîtrise technique ...
I saw Two Dollar Bash , praised be the Lord!" Michel Preumont (concert review)

Jazzwise, UK, Sept 09

„Constant touring and a swag of confidence-building rave reviews have fine-tuned the foursome's already formidable songwriting skills and enhanced their earthy, richly textured sound. Recorded in a farmhouse in the Czech Republic, this excellent third album has all TDB hallmarks – literate songs, versatile musicianship and good honest music, delivered with the sheer joy of playing. Think acoustic guitars, lap steels, harmonicas and banjos. Alternating lead vocals and straight-up harmonies. Think a European version of The Band, or a modern day Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.“ Jane Cornwell (review of „Lost River“)

Maverick, UK, Feb 2009

"...the group’s organic, authentic sound provides plenty of moments to savour, taking in folk, country, blues and acoustic rock ... this has the potential to impress any fan of uncontrived, richly-textured roots music."

MazzMusikaS, Belgium; Jan 2009

“...one of the best European acoustic folk/country bands. The four musicians...are not only outstanding instrumentalists and singers, but also very talented songwriters.”

Brand New Country, BBC Radio Scotland, June 2008

"I really enjoyed this album, and I think you will too... it's a really great sound" Bryan Burnett, introducing "Lost River"

No Fences, Germany, February 2008

"Echte Musik mit Herz und Seele von echten Musikern mit Herz und Seele" Christine Helmeke

Green Man Review, USA, December 2007

"This is heartfelt and very true Americana, and I bet they do a good live show." Gary Whitehouse

Songlines, UK, December 2007

The blue, blue grass of Scotland and Berlin

This is good ol' time American music. There is blues, folk, country and chugging R'n'B in here. The auras of Canned Heat, Woody Guthrie, Neil Young and Springsteen waft on the breeze. And ... there is an echo of the Rolling Stones down-home bluesy vibe in here. ..Two Dollar Bash consists of three Glaswegians and a Parisian (who does, tantalisingly, sing a great, uptempo blues number - "Roulez, Roulez" - in French, midway through the album) based in Berlin...

This is classic, big skies and bar rooms American music, and that is no bad thing. There are evocative songs here with harmonies, mandolin, banjo, guitar and particularly good harmonica playing from Matt de Harp. Jane Cornwell

 

My Revelations, Germany, December 2007

Alle wissen: Country ist was für ewig gestrige Wildwestromantiker, Folk was für speckmattige Duscheverweigerer und Blues die Musik der - keine Ahnung, der restlichen Trauerklopse halt. So die eine Meinung.
Die richtige lautet: schreibt man ein paar coole Songs und sucht sich ein paar Coversongs, die man den aufgezählten drei Musikrichtungen zurechnen kann und spielt sie in drei Tagen mit ausschließlich akustischen Instrumenten ein, so erhält man eine richtig starke, zeitlose und in ihrer Einfachheit bestechende Platte. TDB müssen sich nicht durch fingerbrecherische Saitenakrobatik beweisen. Getreu dem Motto "weniger ist mehr" überzeugen sie durch Eingängigkeit, Ehrlichkeit und Spaß an der Musik.
Seit ihrer Gründung im Jahr 2003 tourt die Band durch Europa und die USA und hat sich hierbei auf diversen Festivals (z.B. Old Time Country & Traditional Music Festival in Missouri Valley/Iowa; Mean Fiddler Latitude Festival/England und der International Country Night der Popkomm/Berlin) zahlreiche Preise, viel Anerkennung und eine stetig wachsende Fangemeinde erspielt.
Auf ihrem aktuellen Album haben TDB 13 äußerst hörbare Titel versammelt, die sich angenehm von klischeeüberfrachtetem Countryschlager abheben und nicht durch zwanghafte Fröhlichkeit und Fernfahrerträume nerven. Country lebt, Country ist cool- aber neben Größen wie SMOKESTACK LIGHTNIN' oder den Übercowboys von THE BOSSHOSS gibt's immer wieder tolle und vor allem live genauso unterhaltsame Nischenkünstler zu entdecken- beim Weihnachtseinkauf unbedingt mal auf TWO DOLLAR BASH achten, es lohnt sich! Christian Schäfer

 

Jazzwise, UK, September 2007

"What with their downhome laments, impressive three and four part harmonies and exemplary banjo pickin', Two Dollar Bash could be lifted straight out of the Appalachians. Turns out they're a – wait for it-Berlin-based acoustic/folk/country band, originally from Scotland and France, having evolved out of Prague collective The Oul' Bogwarriors. No yee-hahs, then (well, except for a few near yodels on the toe-tapping, harp-heavy „Old Mail Train“), just great original songs, fine musicianship and a wealth of influences ranging from North American folk blues and country with Celtic and European styles. Ex-buskers all, the four wield their different combinations of guitar, drums, mandolin, banjo and the rest to beguiling effect. Stand-outs include the see-y'all later track „Taking a Taxi“, the poignant ballad „Rosalyn“, the chugging „Ticket to Vilnius“. Intelligent lyrics tell of loss and longing, love and friendship, and always, of packing bags and moving on. The world is a musician's oyster, after all." Jane Cornwell

 

Sächsische Zeitung, Germany, November 2007

Americanischer Sound mit Europaischer Seele - die Band Two Dollar Bash spielt genau das morgen Abend ab 21 Uhr in der „Alten Bäckerei“ am Grosshennersdorfer Sportplatz. Die vier Musiker von Two Dollar Bash stammen ursprunglich aus Schottland und Frankreich und vereinen in Ihren Songs Einflüsse aus dem nordamerikanische Folk, Blues und Country, aber auch Keltischer und europäischer Stilrichtungen. Unplugged und bis zu vier Stimmen fasst Two Dollar Bash der intuitiven und expressiven Spielfreude freien Lauf. Ihr Handwerk haben die Bandmidglieder bei längeren Aufenthalt in Dublin, Prag und Grenoble in verschiedenen Folk-, Punk-, Rock- und Swingbands erlernt. Die Erfolge der Band können sich sehen lassen. Im September 2005 gewann Two Dollar Bash den „Rising Legend Award“ des 30. Old Time Country & Traditional Music Festival in Missouri Valley (USA). 2006 wurden sie als eine von vier Bands weltweit für ein Showcase zur “International Country Night” auf der Popkomm in Berlin ausgewählt. 2007 begann mit Auftritten in Irland, Belgien und Deutschland, gefolgt von einer ausgedehnten Tour durch die USA und Kanada auf den renommierten Musikfestivals South by Southwest in Austin (Texas) und der Canadian Music Week in Toronto.

 

Rootstime magazine, Belgium, September 2007

De heren van Two Dollar Bash spelen al sinds 15 jaar samen in verschillende combinaties. Heden ten dage verblijft de bende in Berlijn terwijl er toch geen enkele Duitser te bekennen valt in de groep. Hun landen van oorsprong zijn Schotland (3 leden uit Glasgow) en Frankrijk (één bandlid uit Parijs). Dit notoire gezelschap bestaat uit Tony Rose (gitaar, zang), Matt de Harp (mandoline, harp, gitaar, zang), Mark Mulholland (banjo, mandola, gitaar, zang) en Joe Armstrong (gitaar, bas, zang). Zoals je ziet: allemaal gitaristen en zangers en zo treden ze ook meestal op (zie foto), mooi naast elkaar zittend met elk een gitaar (of banjo) en een microfoon. Hun repertoire omvat een hele resem muziekstijlen zoals country, blues, folk, bluegrass, swing en rock’n’roll. In september 2005 wonnen ze de “Rising Legend”-award op het Country and Traditional Music Festival in Missoury Valley, Iowa. Vorig jaar deelden ze de affiche nog met namen als Patti Smith, Snow Patrol en Antony and the Johnsons op een groot popfestival in Engeland. De heren zijn uitstekende muzikanten die beïnvloed werden door de Noordamerikaanse folk, blues en countrymuziek maar die toch een eigenheid meegeven aan de originele nummers die ze op hun twee albums “Two Dollar Bash” en “On The Road” voor de toehoorders etaleren. Op het debuutalbum “Two Dollar Bash” van vorig jaar zit de cowboysound vervat in “Old Mail Train” en “The Devil And The Angel” en de ballads “Taking A Taxi”, “One Day I’ll Be Gone”, “Rosalyn” en “Ticket To Vilnus” vertellen over reizen, over de liefde en over vriendschap. Twee coversongs op dit album : “White Freight Liner Blues” van Townes Van Zandt en “Mountain Song” van Louisiana-singer-songwriter Jimmy Bozeman. Ook de nieuwe CD “On The Road” gaat op de ingeslagen weg voort. 13 songs waarvan 11 eigenhandig geschreven zijn en “Whisky” van Russ Miller gecoverd wordt. “I Am A Pilgrim” is een traditional in dit countrygenre die voortreffelijk gebracht wordt in een Springsteeniaanse Nebraskaversie door Two Dollar Bash. Mijn favoriete songs op dit album zijn “Put Your Hand In Mine” en “Wayward One”, beiden geschreven door Mark Mulholland en de New Orleans-cajunversie van “Roulez-Roulez” met mondharmonica en wasbord, geschreven door Matt de Harp, die ook verantwoordelijkheid heeft voor het mooie “So Blue” en het al even mooie “Time To Go” (met heerlijke banjoriffs). Two Dollar Bash is een gezellige bende die rustig en ongestoord verder bouwt aan een muzikale carrière die spoedig wel eens zou kunnen worden verder gezet in Amerika, het thuisland voor dit muziekgenre.
(valsam)

www.dorfdisco.de, Germany, November 2007

Es gibt sie noch, diejenigen, deren Welt schon morgens schlecht und unverändert gegen einen ist, gleich was man dagegen unternimmt. Diese, im amerikanischen als "Country" bekannte Sichtweise der Dinge ist auch die von Two Dollar Bash. Kein Lied in dem nicht von irgendeinem Trübsal oder Unglück die Rede ist, kein Zustand, der nicht von heilloser Leere und deren unvermeintlichen Abrutschen in Alkoholismus zeugt. Und wenn man schon unter einem Wolken verhangenen Himmel auf die Sonne wartet, dann tut man dies als gestandener Mann, dem nicht viel anhaben kann, keine unglückliche Liebe und auch kein tragisches Schicksal. Denn anhänglich sein, oder gar jemanden auf die Nerven fallen, das ist das Letzte was der dieser Haltung innewohnenden Ehrenkodex vorschreibt. Und so leben und spielen Two Dollar Bash abseits jeder Beachtung durch die Medien ihren Country und Folk vor ein paar Berliner Gleichgesinnten in den gleichen dunkelgrauen Stoffmänteln und klobigen Schuhen, deren Welt längst vom Fortschritt aufgefressen wurde. Was bleibt ist diese traurig schöne Mundharmonika, das durchgehende schwirren der Westerngitarre, das ab-und-zu anziehende Banjo und das nur selten, und wenn dann zart zu vernehmende Schlagzeug neben den ehrlichen, vom vielen Zigaretten, Bier und Whisky geschmirgelten Stimmen von Tony Rose, Mark Mulholland, Matt de Harp und Joe Armstrong. Gott hab sie selig will man sagen, wäre diese schon zweite CD in einem Jahr nicht so herausragend gut, dass sie damit bis nach Nord Amerika touren, auf das South by Southwest Festival eingeladen werden, während ihnen in Berlin gerade mal ein Gig vor 10 Freunden im English Bookstore Friedrichshain bleibt.

Twangfest, Nürnberg, festival announcement July 2007

"Was für ein Gedicht! „Two Dollar Bash“ sind eine schottisch/französische Band aus Berlin und spielen Old-Time Country mit akustischen Instrumenten. Stellt euch einfach vor, „Dillard & Clark“ machen eine Session mit den „Byrds“ zu Zeiten von „The Sweetheart of the Rodeo“ mit Gram Parsons. Dann rührt und schüttelt es zusammen, und heraus kommen die unglaublich fantastischen „Two Dollar Bash“. Was für ein toller Flow! Sie sind es!"

Properganda Magazine, UK
June/July 2007
Introducing album "Two Dollar Bash"

Fresh from their riotous and rapturously received appearances at this year's South By South West festival (Austin) and Canadian Music Week (Toronto), this three parts Scottish to one part French quartet are ready and raring to continue their plan to take the roots/Americana world by storm.

Their blend of folk, country and blues combined gorgeous three and four part harmonies has won them critical acclaim as well as several prestigious awards. The band's constant touring has honed their craft and the songs featured on this album are ample proof that their time in the transit van has been justifiably spent. The giggin doesn't show any sign of letting up just yet and the band will be in the UK for some summer festivals, including the Wychwood festival.

There are many highlights but cuts like the Johnny Cash imbued 'The Devil And The Angel', opener 'Waiting For The Sunshine', 'Old Mail Train' and the oft covered, Townes Van Zandt penned 'White Freight Liner Blues' burn brightest.


Folker!, Germany
May/June 2007
About album “On the Road“

"Kommen drei Schotten und ein Franzose nach Berlin – was machen sie? Träumen von Amerika, natürlich! Jedenfalls was die Mischung betrifft, die nun auch auf ihrem Zweitling wieder zu hören ist: Country, Cajun, Folk. Dazu schon von der Herangehensweise ein ordentlicher Schuss Rock ’n’ Roll, wenn auch strikt unplugged. Das aber ganz volle Kraft voraus!"


Lolo Wood, music journalist
About album "Two Dollar Bash", May 2007

"The sounds of downbeat country-influenced Americana are now such a part of the average musically-savvy listener’s vocabulary that it’s easy to forget how refreshing it was 10 years ago to hear bands admitting to being influenced by Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie and even Gram Parsons. And it’s too easy to bypass another band with banjo, mandolin and harmonica in their ingredients when they’re now such common currency by every bandwagon-jumper taking a stab at “authenticity”. But Two Dollar Bash have a licence to give out a button-badge reading “We’ve Been Doing This Since Before It Was Trendy” with every copy of their eponymous album.

Organically sprouted from an early 90s Prague-based acoustic band with the wonderfully evocative moniker The Oul Bogwarriors, Two Dollar Bash are three Scots and a Frenchman who intuitively pick up on the nuances of American country, folk and rock that can trace a direct lineage back to the folk music of their own countries. They have a natural instinct for simple, haunting melodies, with narratives revolving around road trips, ailing relationships and the eternal internal battle of good and evil. The Devil and the Angel is a beguilingly old-fashioned up-beat lament about one man’s fight to be good in the face of temptation in the shape of whisky and women that would not be out of place on an early Johnny Cash record.

Although they have earned those button-badges by immersing themselves in the music and imagery of rural America, their own urban roots and the individual members’ foray into wistful indie and dirty rock’n’roll occasionally cheekily pop their heads over the parapet. Mark Mulholland’s inventory of “a packet of biscuits, an old tin of beans, a sackful of memories and a handful of dreams” sounds more like the contents of Belle & Sebastian’s tour bus than the cargo of a wagon-train, while the exuberance put into their take on Townes van Zandt’s White Freight Liner Blues reveals a band who could just as seamlessly knock out a Stones or Stooges tune with the same aplomb.

Mulholland’s fragile, Dylan-tinged vocals sit comfortably next to Tony Rose’s deeper, more authoritative tones, but both pin down the emotional intensity that this kind of music thrives on. Just because it’s been done before doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done again, and again, if you really mean it".

B y Lolo Wood

Torontoist, Canada
Mar 2007
Review from Canadian Music Week (8th of March 2007)

"Next up at Rancho Relaxo came Two Dollar Bash. Comprised of three guys from Glasgow and one from Paris who are all currently living in Berlin, it was a bit intriguing that their sound is self-described as folky americana. With harmonicas, guitars, and mandolins at hand, their songs were of an ever-changing style. First they had a classic country western sound, and then they morphed to old time rock and roll sung in French, before settling
on a sound that seemed strangely like that of Holly McNarland. Despite the spontanaety, or perhaps because of it, this entertaining set invoked images of eating in a rusty spoon diner while on a road trip to nowhere".


AMERICANA-UK.COM
Jan 2007
"Scrunge Grass rules and Bush gets lambasted!
I Am A Pilgrim’ is a traditional song that’s given a Springsteen like ‘Nebraska’ feel, who in turn must have given it his own spin. The opener ‘Sacrifice’ shows off Matt de Harp’s skills on the harmonica. He’s aptly named. The title track and ‘Whiskey’ have interchangeable guitar breaks and are pretty much the same. ‘Abstinence Blues’ displays some fine picking whilst encouraging people to do other things and not consume alcohol. A good idea for us all this time of year.
However the stand out track is ‘So Blue’ which unfortunately includes the f word, so alas I can’t
play it on my radio programme. ‘Long Time Coming’ is also another stand out, with some mighty fine banjo picking coupled with insightful lyrics. ‘Roulez Roulez’ as you’d expect, brings the Cajun feel to the album and is up there with the better ones. Two of the three best songs have been written by de Harp".

Date review added: Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Reviewer: Phil Edwards


TRADITION, the magazine of the National Traditional Country Music Association,
USA
by Bob Everhart, Jan+Feb 2005 issue.
" I’m not going to spend a lot of time re-reviewing this great CD, because I did once. This group from Berlin, Germany, is pretty folky in their approach to music, but it’s the same kind of original folk creativity that Bob Dylan had when he started. I want to reiterate to this group, that if they are planning a trip to the USA try to be with us at our festival in 2005 (Aug 29-Sept 4) because this year we are going to be on overload with talent buyers, that are looking for all kinds of new talent, not just country. two dollar bashcould easily be country, but I like their folky approach to their music. They have a banjo, but it’s not bluegrassy. Some really strong acoustic guitar. Lots of energy in their work, and some very poignant words in their lyrics. Come see us two dollar bash, we have a stage with your name on it, but not much money".