Four-track EP showcases versatility of Boston three piece.
The Old North is a three-piece band based in Boston, Massachusetts. The band’s strategy has been to break down an album into several different pieces ahead of a full release. With one previous EP and three singles released over an eight-month period ‘Spaces’ marks the final piece of this eleven-track project.
The band’s music is described as upbeat folk, blending the singer/songwriter genre with jazz, bluegrass and blues. The four tracks offered up on the EP see the band expand their sound in a couple of notable ways over these previous releases. Billy Jewell’s talents on the trumpet are featured to varying degrees throughout the EP but they are never more prominent than on the lovely, sultry, jazzy ‘Link in The Chain.”
The fact that this is followed immediately with Eddie Dickerson’s fiddle dominated bluegrass of ‘Interrobang’ amply demonstrates the range and versatility of the band. The four tracks all offer something a little different with the one constant being the vocals of Andrew O’Keefe. Sounding not a little like Mike Rosenberg aka Passenger it is a very distinctive voice.
If that vocal is a constant delight, it is on ‘Smile at The Devil’ that it really shines. Presenting yet another switch in styles this is a simpler approach with some initially subtle guitar work that grows into something much bigger and memorable. The guitar driven track has an ethereal feel to it with those vocals adding a touch of menace to the song.
The Old North’s line up is completed by guitarist Hayes Cummings and Max Liebman on upright bass. Alongside O’Keefe they complete a compelling trio. The horn and fiddle elements added to the mix here fully justifies the band’s desire to use them to bring a new energy to their work and capture the Boston/New England vibe that they feel their music represents.