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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Western Fifth release new CD: Stand Like A Thief

Western Fifth unveils their second CD Friday, November 21st with a release party at the Uptown Bar in Minneapolis. The album, called Stand Like a Thief, follows up 2006’s self-titled debut.

The opening song of the 10-song album, “We’ve Got The Rain” sets the tone, with slow-strummed acoustic guitar, yearning vocals by Ryan Holweger, crying fiddle by Dave Boquist (who guests on several of the album’s songs), and ultimately a bouncy but lonely sounding piano riff by Ryan Jacobson and light mandolin by Thomas Case, until the song finally booms to a full start as Jon Wurm joins in on drums.

The song ends:

We ain’t got money, honey
But we’ve got the rain
Turn around
Before you go insane.
Then we die
Then we die
Then we die
Then we die.

Now imagine those sentiments being presented not with lethargy, but in a warm and beautiful way.

Personally, I’ve never found beautiful music depressing, though admittedly Stand Like a Thief is far from an “up” album. In the album's second song, the chorus reminds us “People will never stop falling in love / With someone who won’t love them back” as accompanied by a soulful trumpet. And it goes on from there.

Open up the liner notes and view the album artwork by Jeremiah Talamantes and you see a lonely gray house on a dark prairie. A despondent gentlemen stands in the foreground in a top hat looking down at the ground. The cover art couldn't be a better match for the music inside. With the fabulous design by Metrofader Studios, this CD looks as good as it sounds.

Western Fifth will be joined by Kid Dakota and the Evening Rig Friday to round out a killer bill. Uptown Bar, Minneapolis. $5. 9PM, 21+ (More info from