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CD Review: DMV 9, DMV 10 

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DMV Band 9 | DMV Band 10

(2014, Independent)

Woodstock's own multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Duke McVinnie, a founding member of aughts folk-pop outfit Shivaree, has been around, and it shows in these two wildly eclectic EPs, 9 and 10. (They are his ninth and tenth releases.) This guitarist for Joan Baez, rock cohort of Northwest alt icon Mark Lanegan, and in-demand movie/TV scorer brings all those chops and more to his latest incarnation, the DMV Band. With co-producers/players Danny Blume, Matthew Cullen, and Adam Armstrong, McVinnie casts an array of locally grown souls to help flesh out cinematic soundscapes, musical rants, chamber pop, metal jams, and haunting electro-lullabies, all of which somehow sound of a piece; Marco Benevento brings the dramatic organ sweeps, Rick Altman vibes out, bassist Colin Almquist keeps it funky, and drummer-percussionist Manuel Quintana reins everything in, then sends it into ecstatic rhythmic chaos. (The guitar chops—all over-the-top in quality—are shared by McVinnie and his producers.)

Highlights of 9 include the menacing "It," featuring Jane Scarpantoni's keening cello, and the unexpected country funk of "Down the Road." Standouts on 10: the hypnotic, lovely carousel ride that is "Wonk Waltz," and take-no-prisoners rock/manic field recording "Jumpdown." Woven within is McVinnie's distinctive voice, a throaty but supple instrument, alternately crooning, shadow whispering, carnival barking, storytelling around a burn barrel, or rocking out. There's dark poetry in there, dancing like sparks above the fire kicked up by these stellar musicians. Warm yourself, listen, dance.

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