The Faux Paws “The Faux Paws”

Great Bear Records, 2021

Enigmatic bluegrass-jazz fusion on The Faux Paws’ debut album.

Cover artwork for The Faux Paws by The Faux PawsThe largely instrumental debut album from The Faux Paws brings together brothers Andrew and Noah VanNorstran (Great Bear) and Chris Miller (The Revellers) in a bright and breezy bluegrass-jazz fusion. Steeped in the relatively niche genres of contra dance and cajun-country, the three combine to produce an enigmatic collection of songs where banjo and fiddle sit cheek-by-jowl with saxophone and foot-percussion.

Shades of The Decemberists flicker into view across this ten song record, especially in the lead vocal, although it’s hard to find an obvious genre or collection of bands to file The Faux Paws alongside. If there’s a common thread to be found in piecing together these exhibits of undoubted instrumental prowess, it’s most likely found in the sense of journeying across North America. The Great Lakes, Winchester, Virginia, Montauk, Long Island and Southport all feature, but the listener is left wondering a little about the story behind the jams.

Looking beyond any deeper or literal meaning though, it’s easy to get lost in the jam and the groove of the super-glossy pop production. And for many, simply succumbing to this record on those terms will be a journey worth making in its own right.


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