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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Lowest Pair

Uncertain As It Is Uneven

Review by Gary Hill

This is the second CD I’ve reviewed by this act for this issue of Music Street Journal. Both are new this year. I think the other one is the stronger one in a lot of ways. That’s because it seems to have the more dramatic stuff. This is still quite solid in terms of good song writing. It just tends to not be as dramatically innovative. The music here is acoustic roots stuff leaning mostly toward country and bluegrass. While the other disc is stronger, this is still very good. There are some moments here that touch the greatness of that set, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Company I Keep

Folk music country and bluegrass all mix on this number. It’s an effective piece that does a good job of starting this set in style.
Keweenaw Flower
This song ramps things up a bit. The interaction between the two voices is great. The musical tapestry is particularly effective, too.
Lonesome Sunrise
Down-home country blends with folk music on this number. It’s not a big change, but it’s quite a strong one. The vocal arrangement really sells it.
Like I Did Before
I love the intricate instrumental work here. The whole song just really works well, too. There is a bit of a blues edge to it, but tempered with that bluegrass sound.
37 Tears
Harmonica adds some character to this piece. It’s a balladic number with a lot of emotion built into it. The instrumentation again provides some particularly strong intricacies on this piece.
The Sky is Green
Although this isn’t a big change, the vocal arrangement really sells it. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the song is well-written, too.
Mason’s Trowel
The fast paced banjo jamming on this is both classic and classy. The whole cut really works wonderfully. It’s one of my favorites here.
Holy Buckets
Fast paced, but mellow and stripped back, bluegrass is the order of business here. This one is rather fun.
Dreaming of Babylon
The main song structure here is a folk meets bluegrass motif. There is an extended instrumental jam mid-track that really escalates this number, though.
Pretend It’s True
A mellower, slower country tune, this one works really well. I love the violin (or should I say “fiddle?”) on it.
By Then Where Will That Be
The song proper here is more of a bluegrass ballad. It’s effective and the vocal arrangement shines. The real magic, though, comes to being in the extended instrumental section. That has elements of classical music and perhaps even a bit of a progressive edge. It’s a great touch. This tune is very evocative in a lot of ways. That makes it a particularly effective closer.
 
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