By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
To explain Shibboleth's instrumental prowess, one could probably point to the fact that they have been the go-to band for Dallas R&B legend Bobby Patterson's recent live performances—despite the fact that they are not an R&B band—and leave it at that. It's just proof that guitarist Don Cento, keyboardist Rich Martin and bassist James Driscoll are consummate professionals capable of seemingly any genre. They're all over the map in their live shows too, going off on all kinds of playful jazz, lounge and surf tangents. And each player's other projects can attest to this musical agility too; Cento is one of Little Jack Melody's Young Turks, and Driscoll and Martin are among Peter Schmidt's Gentlemen Scholars. Cento and Driscoll also play with recently reunited pop-rockers Chomsky.
"Captaineered" by Stuart Sikes and aided by Jim White on drums and Chris McGuire and Randy Graham on horns, Experiment in Error showcases the band's skill at playing with all kinds of riffs and musical ideas. Opener "The 1912 Horsey Rebellion" sounds like a mariachi band playing a Western soundtrack set to a martial beat, whereas the title track sounds like a '60s pop band playing a cheesy lounge set. The whole disc is impressive and fun. And yet, at times, it feels like something is missing, which perhaps explains why Shibboleth is such a great backing band; they can stand up to any musical challenge when paired with a charismatic frontman.
Many of the songs on Experiment would be perfect as the soundtrack to some quirky comedy, or as the backing music for a '60s-themed dance party. And on the whole, it's a fun, occasionally silly listen sure to provide a few smiles—as long as you have something else to do while it's playing.
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