Mucho Buddha hails from the Albuquerque, NM music scene.  This foursome pulled it's members from numerous other successful bands around the area. This new CD firmly places them on my highly recommended list!
     The CD kicks off with the interesting tune, "
Fine Fine Medicine". Guitarist and vocalist Chuck Hawley sets up a funky rhythm that the bassist David Pankuch and drummer David Chrestensen fill out. On top, Ben Jones plays  a bluesy harmonica that has a interesting feel--almost as if he treats it like a keyboard fill. Chuck weaves the lyric about enjoying some "fine, fine, medicine" and getting free of stress and work. The recording has excellent qualities revealing small details of the intricate performance of these talented musicians.
Anja Machela" opens with mandolin and a percussion shaker setting a pace for the bass, violin and drums to follow. This world music styled song has some unique twists with turnarounds and a trombone  solo. The fretless bass work by Pankuch adds to the tempo and feel of transitions from chorus to verse.
     The title song, "
Dragonfly", opening with Chuck's psychedelic guitar work, features Ben's violin work. This is combined in a refreshing way with the fretless bass and synthesizer. The effect is as if the music is the dragonfly zooming up and down at varying altitudes.
Opportunity" shows off the timing and synchronicity of the band. David's drum work ties the whole song together with every motion and movement tied down perfectly to the body of the song.
     Funky guitar work and a pick up beat from the drums and bass will have our whole body moving to "
Shine". The lyric is simply "shine... you are gone". Keyboards add a back drop and accent to the  guitar on top. The band's ability to change it up is shown off in the bridge of this tune for the guitar and violin solo's  followed by an impressive funky staccato solo on bass.
     The high energy "
Lucky Day" is a driving tune with room for lots of twists and turns. The lyrics have a world peace message. Of particular interest is the violin solo work by Ben.
Everything" expresses concerns for how we view our world and asks us to realize we already have everything and begin to believe and follow the visions of those past and yet unborn and love each other. It features a jangled and bouncy guitar riff with rhythmic backing. Spirited solos are performed on guitar and violin.
     The jazzy "
Fire" shows the diversity of the group. Choppy counterpoint picked mandolin and soothing violin set the stage for vocals.
A Better Way" shows off the bass work of David as he slides and glides to create the backdrop for this song. Funky guitar and piano break up the middle of this tune to a solo break by Ben on violin.
Goes Like This [You Got The Power]" is a beat driven tune with many diverse sounds including synthesizer guitar, synthesizer, didjeridoo [played by guest Matt Pankuch], and distorted vocals.
Gone" borrows from bluegrass jazzed up with Mucho Buddha style. Guest guitarist Brian Ostrum takes a spirited solo. Ben shows off his violin versatility as comfortable with the solo structure of this genre as any other.

     Funk influenced blues drives "Jerome Blues". The lyric talks about bees working so hard and Ben buzzes in response with a bee like riff on the violin. Inspired solos are taken by bass and guitar.
     The country bouncy bending at the knees "
Bow Bow Bow Chicky Chicky Chicky" allows everyone to have some fun with Nashville inspired chicken picking solos extending out into a Motown reel in at the end complete with crickets and a listen to a siren fading into the background.
     The closing song, "
Alligator", is full of imagery within the lyrics. It has added production featuring many unique effects and solos.  It ends on a driving rhythm finally fading down in a multiple layered sound field decay reminiscent of the days of the Beatles Sergeant Pepper and the like.
     You can read more about this unique group at their home on the web at www.muchobuddha.com. You can also pick up their CD at cdbaby.com as well as sample some of their music. Enjoy some Mucho Buddha today!
~ steve ekblad audiogrid.com

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