Devil in the Yard
“If a good time is what you’re looking for/it’s a good time to let it ride,” Achilles Wheel urges on “Let it Ride,” the opening track of its rip-snortin’ new album, Devil in the Yard. It hits all the right notes, nimbly delivering the honky-tonk dance party vibe that the band gives off on the concert circuit. The jamming, psychedelia-tinged Nevada City blues/bluegrass/rock quintet is led by harmonious frontmen/songwriters Paul Kamm and Jonny “Mojo” Flores, renowned regional performers both, who build on the solid foundation of Shelby Snow’s bass and Gary Campus and Mark McCartney’s twin drum attack. The differences between Kamm’s and Flores’ songs provide refreshing trade-offs and help keep the album interesting throughout. Kamm has performed contemporary folk music for more than 30 years with his wife, Eleanore MacDonald, as well as strummed and sang for 20 years (along with Campus and McCartney) in The Deadbeats, a Grateful Dead tribute band. Mojo is a guitar and mandolin prodigy with more twang to his material and an endearing homespun voice that’s a cross between Arlo Guthrie and Railroad Earth’s Todd Sheaffer.