The Fall Risk: Volume No. 1

Most performing artists wear some of their hometown essence on their sleeves. Jeff Pehrson, prime force behind The Fall Risk, as well as a vocalist for Furthur and half of the popular Box Set duo, was born in San Francisco in 1967. But don’t expect a tie-dyed ode to the 1960s psychedelic scene on the band’s first full-length project. The Fall Risk has both feet firmly footed in 2013 as an irresistible Americana-flavored rock ’n’ roll band with Bay Area sensibilities. Already an accomplished songwriter, the prolific Pehrson brings nine tunes to the table here. He strums an acoustic guitar along with the band, and adds comforting vocals with lyrics that a paint a picture of a certain person (“Angeline” and “Wendy Ann”), a place (“LeClaire”) or an idea (“Cry Baby Cry”), while also leaving some interpretation to the listener. The band also exhibits plenty of firepower, jamming out, for example, in “Ode”, a searing, danceable rocker. The band’s skillful players offer just the right amount of complexity to the layered, kick-up-the-dust jams. The Fall Risk includes two members of Box Set’s electric band—keyboardist Matt Twain and drummer Mark Abbott—and the album closes with a wonderful new treatment of an old Box Set number, “HBWA” (Hershey Bar with Almonds).