I last heard of Silveroot last year with a great album called Full Measure, and arguably the world was very different in the spring of 2008. A lot has changed since then, but then again maybe they haven’t, at least within the United States. I state this because while they celebrate the best of Americana and what it means to live in this country, it’s more of an album about the human condition and what we must do with and amongst each other in order to survive in peace. This is one of the underlying themes on Big Difference (Silverado), as the group continue with their well-executed mix of country, bluegrass, rock, pop, and on this album a number of worldly influences, most notable in teh final song “Last Night In Marrakech”, which sounds like a cross between Led Zeppelin, Loggins & Messina, and something you’d hear on a Folkways album. The smell of good food can be imagined in “Home Cookin'”, where Flynn imagines the delicious goodies found in New Orleans while creating a song that is reminiscent of The Band.
Most of the vibe on the album is down home music, but as the old saying goes, “wherever you lay your hat, that’s home”. It looks inward, but in “Brazil” there’s a slight tropicalia feel where vocalist Patrick Flynn and violinist Emily Palen unite in a celebration of the sunlight in Rio. The way the song is put together, it might help cross them over into a much bigger audience, sounds like a song that could be covered by The Dave Matthews Band or even Clara Hill.
Exploration is a key element here, or at least Flynn and friends are being motivated to open the door to their musical world to see what else lurks down the road, and Big Difference is indeed just that. A very strong statement.