What the Captain Ledge Band brings to the table is an old-school kind of cool. That much is evident on Rumours of the Great White Skunk from the get-go. If not by album name alone, then certainly with the blues-soaked guitar pickin’ of ‘I Wish’ predating Cliff Downing’s rumbling spoken word proclamation for a better earth. His wife, Jeana, joins him in song across some of the gritty roots laid down in the opening number, making for the sort of dichotomy between searing vocals and poignant words that seem to have mostly been lost on the teeming number of new age folk musicians out there.
This doesn’t mean that the band members are afraid of dipping their toes into contemporary frills a bit, though, either. Immediately following up ‘I Wish’ is a Jeana-led banjo ballad featuring softly spacey production married by bang-on harmonies and a rad, tinny sort of instrumental solo along the bridge. Throughout the album, that dynamic of husband and wife playing off of one another to elevate the other’s performance never gets old, with them trading leads and harmonies between songs as they offer their listeners a catalog of bonafide redgrass magic along the way.
Everything culminates with album closer ‘Mimosa Tree’, a soft country tune that feels more between Gregg Allman and Jim Croce than any particular bluegrass or old-school folksy foundation of note. Tinges of psychedelia pervade the track, offering another era of influences to the album that previously had gone unfounded in the most laid-back of ways. Without rambling further, Rumours of the Great White Skunk establishes that the Captain Ledge Band quite simply define cool in a way more relative to the roots bands of days gone by than many that are hitting the scene today. For that reason alone, they are more than worth an ear.