We all need a song like “Roots”, occasionally. When everything seems bleak and difficult, but perhaps all that is needed is a reminder that you are strong to coerce the memories of more positive times. There is a lot of optimism on Midwest Soul XChange‘s album, but a balance of ominous, heavier tracks as well. Just as “Roots” breaks into lush harmonies and a climactic ending, New American Century explores the big, the small, the organic, and the elegant. From the pure fun of “Set A Course For Common Worlds” and “Has Anyone Seen Bob” to the almost dangerous “Sun Dried”.
A recurring strength of the band is found in their acoustic flair. “Occupy the Piper” and “Truth Attention” bring to light the delicate beauty that comes from their unique brand of Americana. There is also a great emotion evident in each track, and “Four Score And Seven To Go” brings it home on a soft note.
Ryan Summers and Nate Cherrier have taken this project completely into their own hands, with both contributing vocals and covering instruments from the mandolin to the lapsteel to that driving percussion and harmonica. The two also produced, mixed, and mastered it all on their own, despite being half a nation apart.