Hymn For Her are a married couple who live with their child and dog in a 16 foot caravan. Not any old caravan however. A trailer indeed is the preferred American usage and theirs is one of those shiny metal beasts familiar to anyone who owns the first Ry Cooder album. A 1961 Bambi Airstream, it’s smaller than the one featured with Cooder but still serves as an iconic image of a certain type of America. Here however it’s not a romanticised vision of travelling the highways, free and easy but is redolent of a precarious, much derided trailer park existence, The cover art reinforces this with its image of beer swigging barbecuing family life.
Why mention all of this. Well the album in question here was recorded within the said trailer in various parks, garages and driveways by the duo as they travelled from show to show. Playing “stomp-grass punk folk.” (their description) Lucy Tight plays a home-made instrument, a three stringed cigar box while her partner Wayne Waxing plays guitar, bass or Dobro while working a bass drum and percussion with his feet, somewhat of a bizarre cross between Seasick Steve and the White Stripes. With this limited palette they create an almighty noise at times and the stinging slide drone of the three string cigar box guitar buzzes like an angry bee all over the album.
The majority of the songs are country rockers with a dollop of the blues thrown in. The sound is reminiscent of Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper at times. I defy anyone not to be jumping up and down on hearing the first three stomps that open the album. Sharing vocals Tight and Waxing can be tender when required as on the closing song Odette which features Tight almost acapella on a paean to a lost child but they are at their best on the thrilling and energetic Sea where the wailing cigar box sounds like it could be sampled from Led Zeppelin. They manage to combine some light and shade on the excellent Fiddlestix which manages to capture their range in a single song.