American Ambulance "Stray"

     American Ambulance is one of those bands where you quickly lose yourself into the songs. The house could be burning down around you and all you are thinking about is tune you are spinning from their new album, "Stray". There is a grit and grandeur to "Stray" that immediately endears the recording to the listener. I love the 8-panel CD liner notes giving me visual stimulus and words to follow along with. Peter Cenedella's pen has wrought a bevy of new tunes. His style is relaxed, yet

take me back to music...

pointed, and ultimately listenable. This roots band rocks hard but has that loose feel of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down By The River" where the vibe and perfection come together. Here are some of my picks…

     The rocking "Marianne Is Hang In' On" opens the CD. The whole band kicks in--Joe Dessereau setting the beat with drums profound, bassist Tim Reedy right on the notes, Scott Aldrich laying down some great riffs with country bends on top of roots rock, and Peter playing guitar and vocalizing. The song lyrics describe a girl who can save herself if she just takes the steps to dry land.

     "Hey! Richard Nixon"  is a clever tune asking "Hey Richard Nixon--a hungry nation waits at your door--aren't you coming home no more?" Scott builds the intensity as he works back and forth on chord to extended notes that define the song's structure. Pushing the beat hard on the refrain. An interesting guitar solo rides the tune to it's end.

     "I Found Out About You"  is a sad song about trust and relationships. The suspicion  of failure before love starts and the inevitable discovery of the end is poignantly  described in lyric  and song.  Scott's eerie guitar fades in and out of the song defining the tone of the song. Florence Dore teams up with Pete providing mellow harmony to this tune.

     "No Change Back"  is a rocker featuring the whole band along with guest guitarist and harmonica solos by Hugh Pool.  The song deals with a swindler's confession on the road to ruin.  Prepare for some serious foot tapping!

     American Ambulance is planning tours for late 2004 and early 2005. If you are lucky, they maybe coming to your town. They will be promoting the upcoming release of their third album. I highly recommend this band. Stop by their web site at and read more about this innovative group Then spin up a copy of "Stray" and enjoy! ~ -

Peter Cenedella

Scott Aldrich