The Free-Reed Review
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CD Review:Dream of the Serpent Dog
Bobby E, acoustic guitar
Clint Hoover, harmonica
Jim Chenoweth, upright bass
Mac Santiago: percussion


Bobby E: Riptide
Bobby E: "717"
C.Hoover: Dream of the Serpent Dog
J. Chenoweth: Easy Dreams
C. Hoover: Tonguin' Groove
J. Chenoweth: The Schlepp
J. Chenoweth: Waltz for Warner
C. Hoover and Bobby E: Snake Oil
C. Hoover: Snake Charmer
Bobby E: When Harry Met Sal

total time: 61 min. 18 sec.
released: 1997
review date: January 1999

label: Clint Hoover c/o Sleeping Dogs Lie Productions
3112 36th. Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406-2127
phone: (612)721-6579

Review by Robert Berta:

The artists on this compact disk have produced a nice piece of work! They turn out excellent performances of tunes they have composed and, judging from the tracks on this CD, are evidently all capable composers. The group certainly plays well together; they allow no one instrument to overpower the others but meld together to form a smooth whole. In general, the compositions are excellent, although at times (most notably in "Ripley's Tide") they get a bit lost in their sonic experimentation.

The group is at their best when they get into a dreamy mood, best exemplified in the cut "Easy Dreams." The guitar here is luscious and the harmonica provides a nice counterpoint. For the most part, the harmonica player does not overuse traditional harmonica "tricks" and relies on good playing rather than excessive note bending, over-blowing, etc. Perhaps only in the first part of "Snake Oil" does he lean too heavily on the cliché.

The musicians all seem capable performers, but there is no doubt that their real talents lie in composing; there are some neat tunes here. I particularly enjoyed "Tonguin' Groove" with its nifty, uplifting beat and "When Harry Met Sal." However, the inclusion of a couple more fast numbers to create a diversity of musical moods would have made the mix even better. Overall this CD is well recorded, the lay out is good, and the liner notes are adequate. A little more history on the musicians would have been appreciated.

If you are a fan of the harmonica, this album might be a good addition to your collection, especially if you are looking for some smooth, mellow mood music. For the most part you will find it easy listening and will happily make a spot in your collection for it.

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