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- The Ring Of The Rise by Micah Blue Smaldone
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I have to do this review in double quick time, not (as happened earlier today) that I urgently require the lavatory but because we are quickly running out of time and being good public servants wanted to at least get a review of this up on the site before we retire for the weekend. The opening track reveals that Micah is doing a lot less of the finger picking banjo stuff these days but looking back through our reviews it appeared that he did so a long long time ago. Instead what we have is alt-country, or to be more precise, Bonnie Prince Billy. It’s the sort of music indebted to Richard and Linda Thompson, Fairport Convention and other 1970s folk twiddlers.
Track two takes a similar musical territory but here the vocals are darker and more croony, there is something of Songs: Ohia in the delivery and Pete Astor’s excellent ‘Hal’s Eggs’ in the folk inflected tunesmithery. ‘Caroline’ is more downbeat with just carefully plucked guitar to accompany the vocals but the melodies are still in thrall to the traditional. Really gorgeous back porch finger picked glory especially on the John Fahey influenced plucking of ‘Harbingers’ which sounds like an outtake from Michael Chapman’s ‘Trainsongs’ collection. In a word: great.
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