How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
One Too Many is a new acoustic trio from suburban New York City that reworks 70- and 80-year-old country blues tunes written by black plantation workers. The band's three originals on this debut have a similar old-timey feel to the 11 covers. Vocalist, kazoo player, washboardist and harmonicat Greg Witchel decided to team up with his guitar-playing pal Steve Friedman after the two were inspired by a bottle of Jack Daniels and some old 78s. Electric bassist Steve Austin joins them on this 14-track debut, which should appeal to fans of early Ry Cooder and Corey Harris. Friedman is a capable guitarist whose slide work is especially good, while Witchel is most effective on harmonica. His vocals are muted on some tracks, lending the CD its bygone sound. Tunes by Charlie Patton, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Boy Fuller and Sonny Terry are among those covered. One Too Many should appeal to any admirer of acoustic blues.