CD Review: Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog “Dyddiau Du, Dyddiau Gwyn”

So what do I know about a North Wales-based band called Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog?

Well, they play a soothing mix of country, folk and rock influenced by classic rock archetypes like Dylan, Neil Young and Gram Parsons. But what will throw you off is the entire thing is done in native Welsh. So I have no idea what those lyrics mean, but the title track here, “Dyddiau Du, Dyddiau Gwyn,” has a great melodic bridge and nice steel pedal guitar work. The slow ballad “Malu’r Ffenestri” doesn’t need a lyric, as you can tell right away from its slow piano that it’s a drinkin’ tune. The song “Nansi” is a bouncey country tune that raises the spirit a bit more. The style of “Celwydd Golau Ydi Cariad” is a bit like early era Eagles with a catchy overdubbed chorus.

This young group is made up of Brothers Aled (25), Dafydd (22) and Iwan (21) and they formed the band in 2005 when Aled and Dafydd, the rhythm section from Welsh heavy rock band Eryr, decided to flesh out the songs that Iwan had been writing and recording in his bedroom on an old four-track cassette recorder. So if you’re looking for something familiar yet off the beaten path, might I suggest a little Welsh alt. country?

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