By Courtney Schultz
Bluegrass music pockets a way of filling you up from your core and working itself through your entire being. Stir it up with the perfect concoction of sunlight-warmed skin and grass-cushioned feet, and it will lift you off the ground and move you; your soul being summoned to enter the physical world, or perhaps it’s your body entering the spiritual world.
The Gated Community captures this formula with a seasoned adeptness. With their most recent release, We Can Do Anything, the menagerie of strings loop around your limbs to marionette you, while sweet but strong and clear vocals carry you through honesty of each track. The album covers a range of themes encapsulating the human experience. While “(Don’t You) Go Run and Hide” expresses heartfelt dedication: “Don’t nurse all the bruises/ they’re keepin’ you down/ they’ll fade in the distance/ I’ll be ‘round / I’ll be ‘round”, we feel the recklessness of pain and yearning for closure in tracks like “I Wanna Get Drunk Tonight”, as the song pours out, “I wanna wear a six-inch heel/ I wanna cop another feel / I wanna make a strange backroom deal / And peer inside the body bag/ ‘cause man ain’t that a drag”. The songs of “We Can Do Anything” transition from bluegrass to electric honky-tonk to americana and from sad to snarky to goofy to neighborly, with an ease that makes this band as approachable as an old friend.
The Gated Community just keeps getting better; refining their musical talent and keeping things exciting by dabbling in all the diverse styles that tie to bluegrass. We Can Do Anything is easy to listen to over and over, and would surely make for great live music on a summer day.