This was my first introduction to Cera Impala and her band, The New Prohibition.
Cera has been making music for quite some time. She’s been out on her own with solo material and also in various bands. She’s accumulated a taste for an eclectic sounding mix of country, bluegrass and folk music. The resulting sound is entirely her own and something fans of roots music should fall in love with.
If you haven’t heard of Cera Impala then check out her latest album and give it a chance. There are some good songs here.
For more you can visit her website: Cera Impala & The New Prohibition.
Higher Place by Cera Impala and The New Prohibition
The album is a unique mix of different sounds and styles. The combination of folk and country makes for something with a haunting sound yet some interesting lyrics for a country artist.
If you listen to these songs more than once you’ll notice a few layers. There is something different to find with each new listen.
Here are my thoughts on each of the tracks.
1. Mother’s Side
Great opening track. It sounds like you’re right there with Cera and the band as they just get started in the studio. The banjo and other instruments are strumming and then kick into full gear as the song starts off fast and furious. This is a story song. In fact, it lets you know that the entire album will be a collection of stories. I like these kinds of songs. It’s different and interesting. You haven’t heard many songs like this and that’s a good thing.
2. Row My Boat
This tune gets a little different from the opening track. It’s more campy and has this quirky beat. This appears to be a love song about two people falling in love. The imagery in this story are pleasant for the most part. Yet there is still this eery feeling in the music and the vocals. That’s an overly evident feeling from the entire record. It’s eery and haunting. It’s interesting. I like it.
3. Dancing In The Moonlight
This track sounds the most like bluegrass you’ve heard before. You can think Alison Krauss or a few others. Yet there is this weird, science fiction or modern sounding instrument in the back. I have no idea what is, but it’s cool and I like it. I never thought I’d heard this in a song, but there it is and it’s got my attention.
Cera’s voice is sweet on this track, but the mood is somewhat somber. I’m not sure what’s happening in the story, but from the sound of the music it is something not quite right. You can feel the uneasiness in the music and the vocals. There is something cool about it. You want to listen.
5. In The Pines
Here is what could be considered a single from the record. This has the most potential to capture a wider audience in the country world. The song is upbeat in the music and the lyrics are interesting as well. The themes continue on the eery with this track. I’ve spent time in the woods and in a group of pine trees. It’s eery and creepy. That’s what this song reminds me of.
6. Higher Place
The title track of the album is placed in the middle of the record. The track is upbeat and moves right along. You feel like you’re on a crazy ride through some bluegrass backroad. It’s a cool song with lots of offer including great playing and some interesting vocals.
7. Foggy Window Backup
A car crash gets this record started. I don’t think I’ve heard that in any country song before but I could be wrong. It’s your typical bluegrass song, but with lyrics like nothing you’ve ever heard before. The album has a new lead vocalist and it’s pretty cool. I like this song.
It’s a prerequisite of country music that your album has a song about whiskey. It seems to be something that affects just about all of us at some point in life. We wake up in the morning still drunk on the whiskey and ponder what’s happened in life. Decisions are rarely good when we’re drinking whiskey yet there is something that keeps us coming back. It must be something good.
9. Cluck Old Hen
A song about a hen? I love it. The band takes the lead vocals on this one as the song starts out. There is something that sounds like a mouth harp playing in the foreground of this track. I remember asking my grandparents for one when I was just a kid. It was something like a dollar and my grandpa said I better learn how to play it real well to justify the cost. I never did and I still feel bad about it. A song about a hen. It’s cool and fun and really something interesting.
10. Orange Blossom Special
You’ll recognize the melody for this classic track. This unique take on a great tune is awesome. The song sounds like a train is rolling through your speakers. I love it.
11. Sweet Sue
The last track on the record is one of my favorites. The music starts out eery once again. You have the feeling like you’re sitting in a science fiction movie waiting for something crazy to happen. This album is just full of this crazy sounding music. If you go into this record with an open mind you’ll find something you like yet you won’t know exactly why. I’m not sure who Sue is or why she ain’t afraid to die, but it’s a cool song and I listened to this one more than once.