Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Ries possess high-pitched voices twining and twirling around each other kinda like sister singers long accustomed to one another's subtleties. When you were young, didja ever have a neighbor girl who was constantly creative, putting on puppet plays, thinking of all kinds of new things for family and friends? That's what these ladies remind me of…though their lyrics are a good deal more mature than that and would, in fact, have probably gotten them a good talking-to, aggrieved parents baffled how such a naïf could be so worldly:
I can live alone, I said
This is definitely country music but of the best sort. I'm not nuts about most C&W—finding it usually on par with rap, reggae, and hip hop (i.e., boring as hell)—but this I can lay an ear to readily. The music is as fragile as the vocalists and there's an existential folk taste to the lyrics, When You Fall being more markedly the latter but also clearly of a balladic bluegrass strain mixed with swelling backwoods gospel airs.
Ya won't be smiling much at these sad tracks, but you'll be more than pleased with the presentations, and, that being the case, will definitely be happy the disc comes in tandem with a vinyl 45 (33 rpm actually but on a 7" 45-rpm format disc) featuring alternate takes on three songs from the CD—not drastically different but just enough to make the mouth water. Normally, even with well-known groups, this sort of thing is predicated on knowing the cuts long enough and well enough to want to have a "remake", but, trust me, you'll become attached to the CD so quickly, you'll be very glad the 45 came with it.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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