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Playing the unlikely instrument of Tsugaru Shamisen, the Yoshida Brothers have become bone fide rock stars in Japan. Staging their own version of Kabuki theater, these guys dress like samurai when they perform live, but their instrumental prowess on this three-string folk instrument (often referred to as the Japanese banjo) transcends both instrument and tradition. Here on the duo's third domestic effort, they again play a wide variety of contexts -- they do pop songs and traditional songs, interpret songs by Brian Eno and John Lennon, and even do suite-like tribute to film composer Ennio Morricone. This is all well and good, but the duo make a downright revelatory connection when they tackle a stumbling country original entitled "Overland Blues." The brothers' instruments sound Eastern but their playing has a natural-sounding country twang to it. East meets West with a pop star twist? Sure. But there are definitely some interesting moments here to ponder. --Tad Hendrickson
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Label:  Domo Records
ArtistYoshida Brothers
Release Date:  March 21, 2006
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review by . August 25, 2007
posted in Music Matters
The Yoshida Brothers do a wonderful job harmonizing the old with the new. If you've heard their first and second albums, you may have noticed that the first one had a very straight-forward and traditional sound. The second album added a modern twist, but this almost made it become too modern; integrating hip hop in some of the songs. This third album achieves a perfect balance and shows off their awesome potential. The great thing about this group is that they seem to be evolving and improving with …
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