Mandolin Orange “Blindfaller” (Yep Roc, 2016)

mandolin-orange-2016The fifth album from this American duo is, and there is no other word for it, lovely.  They’ve added a band this time out but it’s their playing and singing that dominates, as it should.  There are some lovely fragile harmonies, some lovely mandolin work and the whole album is awash with fine melodies.  A streak of county classicism runs through their work so that you can hear nods to and influences from everyone from the Carter Family to Emmylou Harris. Continue reading “Mandolin Orange “Blindfaller” (Yep Roc, 2016)”

Session Americana with Jefferson Hamer “Great Shakes” (Independent, 2016)

This collaboration between decade veterans Session Americana and Jefferson Hamer, perhaps best known this side of the pond for his “Child session-americana-2016Ballads” album with Anais Mitchell, opens up with the little gem that is “One Skinner”, a languid, gorgeously melodic song that slides into your consciousness and never leaves.  It’s followed up with “Helena”, which sounds exactly like UK cult heroes Diesel Park West with its West coast jangle and Hamer’s vocal being a dead ringer for John Butler’s and is none the worse for it.

Continue reading “Session Americana with Jefferson Hamer “Great Shakes” (Independent, 2016)”