Flyinshoes Review

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RED HORSE (GILKYSON : GORKA : KAPLANSKY) (Red House)

 

With three Red House heavyweights all on one-album I realised things aren’t so bad afterall. Economy and job loss problems can be forgotten for a while. But, much as I enjoy Eliza, John and Lucy (who I must admit hasn’t been firing on all cylinders recently as her music hasn’t gone on like I had anticipated. More like her talent has simply, levelled out) on the album it does not match an album by either of them. Thought I had better get that out of the way first; although in these tough times a slice of cake beats non at all.

The blow is superbly cushioned for this collection is loaded with beautiful songs, and with them performed in a gentle and on occasions melancholy manner the listener is in for a rare treat. As finely spun vocal harmonies support from the above assist one another plus, unlike some albums of the ilk those taking part are already closely bonded and it isn’t some random association but one of true kinship.   

Gorka like Gilkyson for me is a massive talent and the more I listen to this album my fondness for Kaplansky has been rekindled for she is back once again doing the simple things. Not over produced her vocals are sharp as on her version of Gorka’s ‘Blue Chalk’ (that had previously been covered in a mighty fashion by Irish-born songbird, Maura O’Connell and is a regular on my player in the car as i drive to work and gigs) that like with her chilling version of traditional mountain ballad ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ (aided by the inspired playing of Duke Levine) and old favourite ‘Scorpion’ her music gains a place close to my heart. Likewise, the piano supported ‘Sanctuary’ (Gilkyson) and harmony vocal (Gorka and Gilkyson) warmed stirred me greatly. 

As for Gorka he pins his name up on the notice board in bold letters via the shuffling, guitar scuffed ‘Coshieville’, the pulsating jaw dropping banjo plied new song of his ‘If These Walls Could Talk’. What a great songwriter and performer this man is on occasions like this. There is a special aura to everything he does plus, there is no doubt in my mind he was a great inspiration to Eliza and Lucy making the record.  Meanwhile Gilkyson scores heavily via ‘Walk Away From Love’ that speaks of how she has got a foolish heart and is not an idiot and still believes in love. What a beautiful rhythm and general effortless flow the song has as fiddle (Warren Hood) and Dobro (Mike Hardwick) join the lady. She also does a fine version of John’s gentle ode ‘Forget To Breathe’. What a fine taster album as three Americana greats are heard and how proud Red House must be of each of them!

Maurice Hope    

 

 

 

Flyinshoes Review Cover Playlist

 

 

 

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Year 2016

1
Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
GC,JBO,TK
2
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Independent
BP,BH,FB,JAB,RW,SP
3
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Independent/CRS
AN,CRS,JB
4
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Tree
Ahh...Pockets! Records
DH,NC
5
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
BK,MM
6
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
 
7
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
DHO
8
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
JJ,JF
9
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
HDB,ML
10
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
EM
11
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
 
12
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
 
13
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
BR
14
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
HH
 
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
Mosey
New West
CVL
 
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
Tapete Records
BM
18
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
AR,EZ
19
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
LM,SZ
20
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
FS,MB
21
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
GS,HD
22
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Undercurrent
Sugar Hill
RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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