April 11, 2002

Test Spin: David Via & Corn Tornado

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David Via and Corn Tornado aren’t your typical four-piece. Playing a yee-hawin’ blend of bluegrass, David Via and Corn Tornado have surfaced recently in the wake of the immense popularity of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. With lyrics that alternate between somber and downright jolly, the group has a tremendous capacity for bringing an older and nearly forgotten form of American music to life.

On the traditional song “Whiskey Took My Daddy Away” Via harmonizes a dark and dreary verse without any musical accompaniment while songs like “For Pete’s Sake” are absent of vocals altogether.

But for all of its variety and musical traditionalism, the whole package comes off as a novelty; that is, though you might enjoy the album a time or two, it probably isn’t something that’s going to make it into a coveted spot in your CD changer. On the other hand, if you’re the guy who pops on that O Brother soundtrack every time you get into your car or hit the proverbial hay for the evening, perhaps David Via and Corn Tornado is for you.

Archived article by Nate Brown