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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Palmer T. Lee

Winebringer

Review by Gary Hill

Palmer T. Lee is one half of the duo The Lowest Pair. I've reviewed a couple sets of theirs and really like them a lot. Their brand of roots music ranging from folk to bluegrass, country and more works well. As you might expect, Lee's music is very similar to that. In fact, I suppose it wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to be fooled into thinking that this is a Lowest Pair release. The main difference is that it's only Lee's voice on the leads. If you like roots music, you can't go wrong with this. The mix of sounds is classic and timeless and the performances are exceptional. The songwriting is great, and this is packed with feeling.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Rag
Starting with a little studio banter, the acoustic guitar joins from there in an intricate arrangement. The sound is echoey, immediate and so classy. As the vocals join in that is reinforced. This folk styled song is roots music of the finest fashion. This is powerful and especially effective.
Aw Jeez
I don't understand the lyrics to this number at all, but the cut has a cool old-time folk music vibe that works well. While I don't like it as well as I do the opener, it has plenty of charms.
Fat Barred Owl
I dig the old-school musical textures on this. It has more energy and groove than the first couple tunes did. It's one of the highlights of the set, as it is packed with style and cool along with emotion.
Uneasy
I love the multiple instrumental arrangement here. The vocals are just as powerful as they are on the rest of the set, too. Those things combine to make this track, one with a lot of bluegrass, one of the highlights here.
So Between Eyes
There is a lot of blues built into this arrangement. The vocals are suitably pained a lot of the time here. This arrangement is fuller than that on the earliest cuts here. This is a potent song that is packed with so much emotion. It's another highlight of the disc.
Rice and Beets
A much more stripped back arrangement, this is slow and intimate. Not only does it present a nice bit of variety, it's also so beautiful, if moody.
Moon You
More of a full treatment, this is country and bluegrass tinged folk music. It feels very much like what you'd expect from Lee's duo The Lowest Pair. It's quite a pretty song and they female vocals bring a lot to it.
Winebringer
More of a rocker, this has a real folk edge to it. It's still acoustic based, but the pounding chording on this makes it rock. It has a definite blues edge to it, too. This is powerful and one of the standouts of the set. That makes it an appropriate title track.
Fiddle Bow
Much more pure country and bluegrass based, this is another solid piece. As you might expect from the title, the fiddle brings a lot to the table here.
 
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