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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Ari and Mia

Sew the City

Review by Gary Hill

There is a real bluegrass turned folk music concept to a lot of this. That's tempered with an artsy angle. Much of the instrumentation on this is of a symphonic classical variety, which lends a uniqueness to it. The end result is a unique set of songs that is intriguing and showcases some definite variety.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Come on Home
With a real bluegrass vibe to it, this is stripped back in its construction at the start. After the first section of vocals that instrumental arrangements fills out. The song has a playful feeling to it and is quite effective.
Apples
Artsy and dramatic in its arrangement, this cut has plenty of that down-home bluegrass sound. Classical instrumentation is used in intriguing ways on this cut. This a potent number.
Sweet Morning
I really love the way the classical instruments paint powerful melodies across the tapestry of this piece. The vocal performance has some particularly emotional showings. This is a dramatic song built on roots music concepts. It's also a highlight of the set.
Nostalgia
This cut is definitely more of a pure art piece. The symphonic elements are the backdrop for a rather trippy vocal arrangement. The roots music concept is pretty well gone here. This is another highlight here. There is an extended instrumental movement at the end that showcases the classical concept.
Roll Away
We're back into more of a bluegrass zone here. This has a real folk music vibe. It's energetic and accessible.
Unquiet Grave
This cut is set pretty fully in the roots category. It has a real old-time vibe. I love the way the classical strings are used on the arrangement.
Little Bit Like Me
Old-school musical styles create the folk meets bluegrass vibe here. This is an effective number that is rather fun.
Til I Die
A particularly stripped back musical arrangement is at the heart of the early parts of this song. It builds out later, and is one of the more artsy things here. it gets powered up and dramatic before it's over.
Sew the City
Not a big surprise, the title track seems to merge the art music and folk styles into an energetic sound.
The Fiddle and the Drum
The artsy side is on full display here. This is classical music turned art-rock minus the "rock" part of that equation. It's dramatic, intriguing and unusual. I think this might not have been the best choice for closer, though. Perhaps it should have been switched in the sequence with the title track.
 
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