On “Adalina Roselma Lapage,” Oakley Hall singer and former Oneida member Pat Sullivan laments a dominating woman who “Peels me like paint thinner/ out in the garage,” a woman who “makes me feel like a high school kid/ But high school sucked, except for Sid.” Both in sound — lap steel, banjo, acoustic guitar, fiddle — and in lyrics, it’s a traditional country song about a presumably gorgeous woman who torments the narrator, but he keeps coming back for more, because, well, that’s the way it’s always been. That’s tradition.
To everyone’s benefit on their second album, Second Guessing, the members of Oakley Hall recognize the tradition and musical foundation laid down in the canon of American roots music. Also to our benefit: They don’t stick to it. Whether it’s the propulsive Crazy Horse electricity of “Landlord” or the anthem-collectiveness of the droning guitar and four-part harmonies on “Hiway,” Oakley Hall exudes enough confidence and ferocity to immediately capture the listener. Like tourmates Constantines, the members of Oakley Hall mine and distill a few different genres, taking with them the excitement of discovery and a working-band’s desire to make a name for itself.
Amish Records Web site