Americana singer-songwriter Andy Dale Petty releases his new EP, Rattlesnake Eggs, via American Standard Time Records. A jack-of-all-trades, finger-picking guitarist, and modern-day rambler, Andy Dale Petty was born in Georgia and now lives outside the small town of Marshall, North Carolina. He’s also a storyteller, setting his yarns to music reminiscent of Buell Kazee, Dock Boggs, Daniel Johnston, and Charlie McAlister.
It’s old-timey music with hints of up-to-date philosophical reflections on life, the world, and the human condition. Encompassing four tracks, Rattlesnake Eggs begins with “Blanket D’veau,” which opens on creamy country guitars vaguely reminiscent of CSN&Y merged with Poco. Petty’s voice, sounding like it’s a bit distant, presents bubbly, nostalgic textures.
“Mounds Of Sugar” rolls out on twangy, gleaming guitars topped by Petty’s sing-song vocals, giving the lyrics a decided retro feel, a feeling enhanced by the remote resonance of the vocal track. It’s as if the vocals were recorded in another room at the end of a hallway. Petty’s cover of “Held The Hand,” Daniel Johnston’s iconic song, rides a rippling, psychedelic guitar and braying church organ. Amalgamating psychedelia with the gospel/horror glow of the organ imbues the tune with strident, old-fashioned harmonics.
The final track, “Bobby Of The Illuminati,” travels on an effervescent acoustic guitar, followed by the entry of a shuffling Americana rhythm. Warm and alluring, the melody comes across as separate from the vocals, which give the impression of being totally disconnected.
Rather than being alluring in its sonic expressions, Rattlesnake Eggs is dated and old hat because the music is divorced from the vocals.