The Roving Apatosaurus is an outfit that is nothing but fun and that’s the way the group likes it. TRA isn’t so much a band in the traditional sense of the term but a collective of different artists in different locations with the stated goal of covering fun songs from decades past in an effort to introduce them to new generations of fans. Of course, this often appeals to older fans, too, and also to anyone interested in hearing a new take on a relatively contemporary song.
The latest offering by The Roving Apatosaurus is “John Deere Green,” originally released by country star Joe Diffie in 1993. The song is a tale of love in an American small town and a spontaneous gesture that ultimately stands the test of time. Diffie’s version is pretty much straight ahead uptempo country with a crisp and clean arrangement. TRA gives the song a female vocal, horns, and a grittier Stones-like feel that turns it into Chuck Berry-influenced rock and roll, no matter how corn-fed the lyrics and story may be. The track stands up to this roots rock treatment quite well. The verses are classic roadhouse greatness, all shake and strut, and contrast well with the hit single DNA contained in the chorus.
The Roving Apatosaurus, while awkwardly named, does a fine job at the simple task of spreading cool music around to those who need to hear it. In the past, TRA has covered “Do The Freddy,” “Calypso,” and “The Night The Piñatas Came Back,” and “John Deere Green” fits right into its all-styles-are-fair-game approach. At times, we all need to be reminded that great songs still rule the day in any genre and that they can become fresh again when given to new artists to interpret.
–Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com