Black Prairie

While it’s not new music, it’s new to the bar staff at the Bourbonhours, and we find it suits us right down to the bottom of the bottle. In particular, their 2012 effort A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart, which has been on fairly regular rotation here. One of our patrons described the music as “post-modern bluegrass” and that about nailed it. The album is a mashup of artists from other groups, such as Chris Funk, Nate Query, and Jenny Conlee from The Decemberists, and Annalisa Tornfelt of bluegrass band Bearfoot. It is the latter’s vocals that is the real revelation; the under-stated, soulful poise that stands as a perfect counterweight to the frantic musical tendencies of the band as a whole. It sounds like a deliberate choice, with the instrumental flourishes taking us on a far-out klezmer, tin-pan alley, art-house ride only to be brought back to earth with the vocal tracks. There are some songs on this album that stop you in your tracks, like Nowhere, Massachusetts, Little Song Bird (which is a fine addition to the Bourbonhours Birds playlist), and especially the “hidden track” found at the end of the album, the beautiful and haunting Lay Me Down In Tennessee, which has been added to this writer’s deathlist.

Here’s a taster of this fine recording.

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