'Dem Hills' is Bruce Siekmann's studio project of original songs with collaborations and contributions from other musicians. It is the 2nd CD released under the Dem Hills name . The first one was titled 'Settle Down' and came out in 2000. Siekmann plays a variety of instruments on the CD including acoustic and electric guitars, fretless bass, hammered dulcimer, marimba, keyboards and assorted percussion. The styles of the songs vary from country with a psychedelic bridge (Be Enough), an acoustic guitar based song with tabla and marimba (Wide Open Spaces), a Mexican folk waltz with harp (Getaway), a 'spaghetti western' instrumental piece called Mio Piccolo Pelo di Naso (my little nose hair), a rocker named Hairpiece and several others in various styles. The lyrical subjects vary as well. Several songs tell stories. 'Be Enough' is about an insecure woman who blames herself for a broken relationship. She seeks refuge from her perceived inadequacies. 'Getaway' is about a bank robbing couple fleeing a botched robbery in a car headed for the border. 'Walkin in the Dark' is a dark story about a woman in a seaside resort town who kills her lover after an angry confrontation. Other songs are about Native Americans and space stations on earth (Injun Joe), a love song (Turn Out the Lights), and wealthy yuppie housewives (Hairpiece). The CD features 5 different lead vocalists, each being matched in style to the songs. Some of the musicians featured include Sarah Ayers - Sarah Ayers Band, Darren Schlappich, Mike Lavdanski, Todd Bartolo - Frog Holler, Kevin Soffera - drums, Hannah Miller - Buckwyld, Nick Franclik - Electric Farm, Eric Steckel Band, Wayne Smith -Eric Steckel Band, Jeff Davis - Confusionism, Bob Sica - No Flies on Frank, Kyle Hildenbrand - Kneebuckle Music, Gloria Gallante - Harp The CD is an eclectic mixture of songs whose cohesiveness becomes apparent after several listenings. Siekmann's style of composing is recognizable in the distinctive chord changes, lyrical phrasing, the use of acoustic and non real world sounds, the voice like quality to the gtr. Solo's, and the sometimes humorous lyrics. This is a CD that deserves attentive listening to hear the subtleties rather than as homogenous background music. Each song is like a painting to be observed and absorbed on it's own merits before moving on to the next. This is a rarity in today's music.
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