A brace of Americana roots type music albums arrived here over the past few weeks so I thought I’d gather them together in one piece.
First up is Woody Pines’ “Counting Alligators.” Fronted by the eponymous Pines this is a great little album of old time songs that range from the jump jive of “Rich Gal, Poor Gal” with its parping sax and syncopation to a great cover of “Satisfied and Tickled Too” which is one of the best versions of the song I’ve heard. At times foot tapping and up-tempo the best moments however are the slower songs such as “Walking Down the Road” with mournful fiddle and a wonderful air of melancholy.
While Woody Pines have their feet firmly in the urban side of American folk Furnace Mountain, from Virginia have a more rural feel with echoes of the Celtic traditions passed over the ocean on their album “Fields of Fescue.” With blazin’ fiddles and terrific strumming the band fit perfectly behind the vocals of Aimee Curl who has a little bit of Karen Dalton’s lazy rural twang about her. Allied to this is David Van Deventer’s fiddle which swings, cajoles and whoops throughout. This is infectious dancing music and begs to be heard live.
From the jackrabbit jive of Woody Pines and the cool clear rural dancesteps of Furnace Mountain we finally we have Gordie Tentrees with his offering “Mercy or Sin.” Coming from the singer songwriter tradition with his roots in country blues and sounding like a young John Prine, Tentrees and his band play seductively with guitars licking and curling around his lyrics. At times they play dirty as on “Devil Talks” with ferocious guitar and stinging dobro but again the best is in the quieter moments where Tentrees and the band swing with a lazy nonchalance with a hint of menace in the tale.