The Sons of Navarone come out firing with an album featuring high-level playing and singing. It takes an exceptional amount of skill to produce a release like Nobody’s Business. Considering only the picking and singing, this album is a brilliant outing by the Dutch/Belgian ensemble.
All those wonderful attributes, however, leave me missing something. That something is originality. To a great extent, the classic songs and tunes here are covers, not interpretations or fresh versions. “Cool Water” hews closer to the Sons of the Pioneers recording rather than a bluegrass reinvention. Even the lovely cover of Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me” resembles an idea IIIrd Tyme Out had a score ago. The Sons of Navarone do this as well or better than any band in the world, but much of the album remains in “tribute band” territory.
The packaging is problematic in several ways. The liner notes by Mike Marshall appear only on a website. The song listings lack songwriter credits, publishing, and PRO information, even the track times essential to DJs. I would welcome with open arms an album of the Sons of Navarone featuring original material and interpretations. That could be truly extraordinary. (www.sonsofnavarone.com)AM