Bombadil – Tarpits and Canyonlands [Album Review]

by oz on July 1, 2009


Bombadil is a band and a word that I was unfamiliar with. I did a quick check on Wikipedia and apparently there’s a fellow named Tom Bombadil that is described in J.R.R‚  Tolkien’s 1934 poem, “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil,” as a “merry fellow” living in a dingle close to the Withywindle river, where he wanders, exploring nature at his leisure. Oddly enough, that spirit of back-country exploration is a fair description of the band and their recent release, Tarpits and Canyonlands.

Bombadil was formed by Duke University alumni in North Carolina by way of Bolivia, giving them an international flavor on folk and Americana music. Tarpits and Canyonlands will be released by Ramseur Records, which was the first sign that I’d most likely love the album. The second sign was the second song called “Sad Birthday.” It’s an upbeat piano driven, hand-clap accented number that is brimming with musicianship and raucus energy.

“Honeymoon” is the next song and another standout. Much like “Sad Birthday,” they take a serious theme and marry it (pun intended) with playful arrangements as they question “what lies beyond that honeymoon?” Their sound is a blend of Cat Stevens and The Avett Brothers that will have you tapping your steering wheel, bouncing in your chair, skipping in your step, or otherwise drawing a bit of drudgery out of your day.

Tarpits and Canyonlands will be released on July 7th.

Website | MySpace | Twitter | Ramseur Records

Bombadil – Honeymoon

Bombadil – Reasons

Video: Bombadil – Three Saddest Words, from their previous album, A Buzz, A Buzz.

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