Jeff Summa and the Roasters embrace a communal psychedelic spirit with the bluesy Americana of “Open Road Ahead”. With a great emphasis on space the tracks sprawl and drift up to the sky. By letting everything simply embrace the mellowed-out vibes their jams have a light, breezy quality to them. Underneath this easygoing demeanor are some incredible chops ranging from the impressive riffs that are on display throughout the whole album to the soothing rhythms that permeate that tie it together. Lyrics have a half-dreamed, poetic beauty to them. Full of tremendous hope everything about the album unfurls with a joyous attitude.
The rustic, expansive yet still intimate approach has a classic timeless quality to it. At their best moments they recall the tenderness of the Grateful Dead in creating something that feels vivid and alive. Elements too of Wilco’s willingness to experiment and move the rustic Americana spirit forward informs much of the work as well. Layer upon layer intermingles creating an entire tapestry of sound, one which is full of such tremendous color. Virtually a kaleidoscope of unique instruments filtering into the mix adds to the potency of the album.
“Long Slow Roast” sets the tone of the album. Featuring the introduction of domesticity, the joys of something so small like a favorite dinner. The band is in full swing nicely embodying the comfort that comes with the familiar, with the small things in life that bring so much happiness. A more night-time reflective temperament takes over with the soulful “Distressed Light”. With “High Now” the band comes out in full force featuring shimmering keyboards and a sly groove. By far the highlight of the album comes with the exploration of “Let It Flow”. On here Jeff Summa and the Roasters truly let loose resulting in a beautifully engrossing world.
A giddy sound permeates the whole of the welcoming “Condition Of Me”. Done with such care, the guitar riffs possess a summery lightness. The honky-tonk quality of “Open Road Ahead” gives the track a distinctly 70s vibe to it. The athletics of “Big River Gulch” never let up as the rhythm has a rollicking swinging quality to it. Featuring truly impressive hypnotic guitar, the whole of the piece feels akin to a teeming ecosystem. “No Tree Growing” is soaked in a nostalgic light. Neatly bringing the whole of the album to a celebratory finale is “Frank Shmank”.
Akin to embarking on a grand journey, Jeff Summa and the Roasters create a real trip of an album with “Open Road Ahead”.