By Clara Tsac
Minneapolis-based band Chokecherry puts a fresh spin on your favorite country records in the paradoxically titled The Future Was a Long Time Ago. Folksy, whimsical, sometimes self-deprecating, Chokecherry is a band that makes feel-good music without taking themselves too seriously. Most of the songs intertwine loosely harmonized choruses and mournful blues singing over a mix of country and punk.
In “Good Times (are over),” the second track of the album, bluesy singing and simple refrains are set over soulful harmonica riffs. Like many other tracks on the album, this then descends into fast-paced rock and slightly off-sync chorus. Some of the other tracks also lean more clearly towards one side or the other. “Downtown Dogs” is formatted as a harcore punk song, but still with a Chokecherry twist- a fiddle weaves its way through the screeches and snares. “Into the Light” is a song that sticks more to country music definitions, with a banjo strumming its way into the chorus, but then drops into heavier drum beats towards the end.
The Future Was a Long Time Ago is a highly versatile album for anybody who enjoys country music and punk, or simply for a Minneapolis night spent on Lyndale. Sometimes wistful, at times frenetic, Chokecherry strikes the right note- all the while sounding like they’re having a good time.