The feel-good dance between country and rock usually tends to lean one way harder than the other. While Space Apaches are no exception, they have a good time doing it and create some pleasurable vibes in the process. Their album, Smokin’ Voyages (released October 9, 2015) aims to take the listener on a virtual journey, but one must wonder if floating around helplessly in space constitutes a journey.
Nearly all tracks were written by Guitarist and lead singer Andrew Reed. The rest of the band is made up of Jim Arrendell on drums, Rob Reisler on bass, Tom Leiner on guitar and finally Aaron Price on keys, piano, and some guitar too. Additionally, Andrew Reed produced the album and recorded at the Sedgwick Studios in Asheville, North Carolina.
Smokin’ Voyages begins with a short introductory instrumental track called, “Entry.” After that the album kicks off with, “Sunrise” which has all the electrical power a guitar needs to draw in a crowd. Of the fourteen total tracks on the album, three of them are covers, these covers include: “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” by Mickey Newbury, “I Am the Six O’Clock New” by Larry Norman and “Ghost Riders in the Sky” by Stan Jones. The album closer, the six-minute rendition of “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” uses multiple singing layers and a highly skilled piano player the give the song an extra touch of beauty.
Listeners that are most likely to enjoy Space Apaches should probably have some blues background as well as some affection towards space. Most famously, inspirations for Space Apaches reverberate in artists such as Santana, The Eagles and Santana. While the vocals can take a powerful control over a track, the guitar remains steadfast in delivering sick licks and tasty tunes. Although the band has a number of videos, the one that stands out as most impressive has to be, “Smile.”
One big focus of the band was the production of the album. Creating music that can exist outside of the time it was developed gives it a timeless quality. To achieve this it is important for the production value to not distract the listener from paying attention to the content being provided. Space Apaches knows this, they are composed of refined studio players that understand how synchronicity can not only create a feeling, it can create an event; one that echoes and fades as intended.
Space Apaches’ new album, Smokin’ Voyages is an excellent example of an older style of music reemerging into the world of mainstream music. In the end, the album mostly sticks to tradition for an enjoyable experience across the board. Although the guitar player does mix up the genre producing feel of his instrument, the lead singer does not, and even though his voice is strong and can carry a beat it lacks the versatile touch necessary to make Space Apaches have a truly unique sound. As a whole the album is strongly suited for a day of fun in the sun and maybe a journey across the stars.