Think of the most conventional and entertaining strain of country music, and then add an authentic, artistic edge and an undeniably unique charm that’s out of a place of deep admiration and appreciation to the craft, and you’ll have Down South Pepper Band, and their latest single, Moving Down South in Particular.
Hailing from the icy Finnmark province of Northern Norway, and acting from a base of operations in the capital Oslo, Down South Pepper Band is the combined effort of Rune Nyby on the vocal and bass duties, Per Øyvind Mathisen on guitars and Eiving Kløverød handling the drums. I’ve said it once and time again, Americana seems to take a far more compelling and somewhat authentic edge when delivered by bands of non-Americans who are exceptionally inspired and infatuated with the genre, and Moving Down South is a case in point.
Starting anew by moving down south when he wasn’t ready or for it, our song’s protagonist is having an unenviable time. The atmospheres are punchy and sufficiently humorous. The drums shuffle and tread along nimbly, great sense of dynamics and an expansive, airy mix. The singing is heartfelt and capable, with warm, compelling accompaniment, and the star of the show remains, for me personally, the twangy, masterful guitar. Perhaps it takes only a guitarist to truly understand the challenge of chicken-pickin’, and of achieving such a mix-populating tone from a thin single coil sound, but the feel and charm of the great riffing and cool solos will have a universal appeal.
A masterful song from a band of practiced gentlemen whose sound has been honed and improved over the years, and the output is amazing, compelling, grooving fun.