October 23, 2003

Test Spin: Paso Fino

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On this, Paso Fino’s I-Town Records debut, local artists Diana Andersen and Shane Lamphier come together with other artists from the Finger Lakes region to produce raw musicianship. On Should Have Bought A Pony, you can find an excellent mix of folk, latin, grassroots, blues, and rock wonderfully intertwined. The singing is pure and simple, yet full of passion and fun. The very first number “Fiery Ride” is just that. It gives the listener a sample of the whole album with a great mix of trombone, steel and nylon sting guitar, tambourine, eggs percussion, ashiko drums, and beautifully harmonized vocals. The next two songs follow in the racy Latin spirit and use bass and maracas, before Paso Fino changes the vibe with an upbeat rendition of the classic, “Home on the Range.” With a taste of sax in the next number, the group calms the listener in my favorite song of the album, “Small Bird,” a somber little piece, the only one of its kind on the CD, featuring a riveting electric guitar. Of course you have to follow that with a song in a major key, but nothing too awakening. “Pray For Rain” does the trick with the help of the electric fiddle, chill guitar strumming, and relaxed singing, all reminiscent of summer. They then bring back the Latin feel one last time before rounding out the CD with another energy filled folky song followed by a down and dirty blues finale. I’d love to have heard more though; ten songs wasn’t enough. Luckily you can hear them locally at caf