The String Cheese Incident
Outside Inside

review = A

The String Cheese Incident is a great American success story. Musically rooted in the high country mountain grass of Colorado, SCI’s sound is a melting pot of time honored tradition and new ideas. Nobody cooks up various and sundry stylistic ingredients into a more distinctive groove stew. Plus they’re smart. As in savvy. Easily popular enough to score a major label gig, SCI remains staunchly independent. So far so good. They’ve sold a ton of CDs, perform to capacity crowds from coast to coast, and even started an in house travel agency for the hordes of hula hoopin’ fans who tour far and wide, experiencing as many live shows, or ‘incidents,’ as possible. Don’t be fooled. Sure, SCI keeps an eye on business, but -Outside Inside-, the band’s fifth album on SCI Fidelity Records, proves that all ears remain on the music. Maybe now more than ever. Unlike Carnival ‘99, a double CD which captured the improvisational, exploratory jamming of live incidents, -Outside Inside- is a studio effort focused on -songs-. From slinky melodicism ("Outside and Inside," "Sing a New Song") and red eyed, hippyfried funk ("Black and White," "Lost"), to rock samba ("Latinissmo"), gospel roots rap ("Joyful Sound") and straight ahead acoustic Americana ("Up the Canyon"), SCI once again succeeds in turning diverse influences -Outside Inside- to create their own unique music.