Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Green Boys: "Oh Delia" Album Review

I recently came across The Green Boys through ReviewShine.  A four-piece band based out of Richmond, Virginia, the gents play a style of country, meets traveling medicine show, meets rural hoe down. I am not really sure how these guys do it, but they somehow manage to bridge the gap between old time revival music and put a modern twist with certain harmony parts and exquisite recording. The GBs bio claims that they are “Equally mislabeled as bluegrass, folk, or honky-tonk…” which I don’t see being too far from the truth, but the band is far more complex than that. The Boys are fronted by the brother team of Sean and Ryan Green, both adding vocal and songwriting capabilities to the band’s sound. This provides an eclectic range to the band’s sound, yet somehow blends effortlessly. It’s really quite an accomplishment and creates a palate of varying degrees that is intricate, but harmonious. Their new record "Oh Delia" is choc ful of goodness...check it out.

The record launched in with “It’s Easy (to die alone).” The song has a very old timey, medicine show kind of feel to it. It’s timeless and making a huge resurgence right now, so the fellas should fit right in to the radio crowd there! Traditional instruments picked capably and surrounding the centered vocal singing out strong. A real great track.
If Conor Oberst were a little happier and from Kentucky, he may make a track that sounds like “My Love”. A little achy in the heart department, soulful and convincing, this track is a great example of the differing, yet conducive, elements in the writing style of the Green brothers.
It’s always exciting to me when a band includes an instrumental on a record too. “Black Mountain Promenade” certainly lives up to my expectations and is a nicely arranged piece with mandolin gracefully leading the charge.

I could write up something positive about every song on the record, but I am afraid I just don’t have enough time to get it all out. This project includes everything from sad songs to shit stompers, a great mix of sonic traits. Ok fine…the track “Fine by Me” is just great. It borders that “angry, pissed off, listen to me” sound and “you broke my heart and I am hurt” emotion really well. The annunciation of the lyrics are just fantastic, with a killer multi-harmony in the back adding a bit of a haunting feel.
The blending of styles and performance from the two brothers is really quite enjoyable. A little bit Dave Rawlings, a pinch of Avett, and maybe a sprinkling of a younger Del McCoury band seem to creep out in the band’s sound. The record as a whole is very dynamic stylistically, but still manages to hold together rather well as a collective work. Perhaps it’s the brother connection? There really is a fine balance of melancholy drone and upbeat thump and pluck. I think fans of traditional music, as well as those who may not be, will really enjoy this album. Its uptempo, and moves along at a nice pace and really, it’s a rather fun listen.

The Green Boys are:
Ryan Green (Vocals, Bass, Banjo)
Sean Green (Vocals, Guitar)
Michael Emmons (Vocals, Dobro, Steel, Banjo)
Zack Miller (Mandolin)
Jonathan Burkett (Drums)
Check out the Green Boys all over the web, but there main site is: http://greenboysmusic.com/ 


  1. Thanks, Red Line for your review of "Oh Delia" by The Green Boys. I enjoyed the review very much as a proud relative of one of the band members; in addition to a really fine album, these guys put on a great live show and their fan base in the mid-Atlantic is growing pretty fast these days. I still don't know who you are, but I lived in Boston during my graduate school days back in the mid-70's and I still remember the great energy of that city. Good to hear that you are promoting roots music there. And by the way, I have always told the band that my favorite of their songs is "Fine By Me". That's my son, Michael singing the background harmonies. Lastly, I enjoyed reading some of the rest of your blog, too. Have fun in Newport and thanks again for posting this review!

  2. Hi Emily,
    Thanks for the kind words about the review. When I get great music it really makes the whole writing part easy! The missing part was a media outlet for a lot of this music (particularly in Boston where we have a lot of publications that lean more to the "rock" end of the spectrum). Very happy to have come across The Green Boys. Thanks for reading and hope you have a great day - RLR