There is an undeniable pull, a gravitational yearning to this disc that keeps you returning again and again to hear if there's something you missed while glorying in all there is to listen to and for the last time you listened. Maybe it's that tangible, analog feel that puts you right where the musicians are. Maybe it's Ries intuitive, indelible, and elegant contemporary lyricism sounding like a creaking, back porch picking session from the rural 1900's.
Then again, it could be the melodies that ebb and flow Wilco-like, lose their way then find their way back. Perhaps it's Ariel Bolles upright bass loping and looping behind Ries alluring, classically fractured vocals that are at once reminiscent of a very young Maria Muldaur filtered through Lady Day.
All I know is that I haven't stopped listening to Without A Bird. I try to move on to other discs waiting review, but I want to hear the resigned opener Learning Too Slow again. I want to hear and experience the weary wanderlust of Chicago and Fine, I'm Fine again. Then, just as I go to hit 'skip disc', I remember I Could Leave; the delicate title track, and the closer Here We Lie In Wait and the next thing I know, I've heard the whole disc again.
Another good sign of how much I like and respect Without A Bird is that, about midway through my second listen, I went up online and purchased her 2005 Waterbug Records debut For You Only and until that gets here, well, there's always this disc to tide me over.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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