Thursday, June 23, 2011

These Trails

Drag City seems to be mostly in the business of locating and reissuing lost 70s folk classics and semi-classics (and if you think about the dull-ish Carolyn Kleyn album they're hawking, non-classics)...and This Trails is a good one. It's unusual in that there's a bit of a Hawaiian flavor to it, mostly in the lyrics...nothing overtly Don Ho-ish here.

My review ran yesterday or so at Blurt.

These Trails
These Trails
(Drag City)

....These Trails is full of lyrical references to Hawaiian places. "House in Hanalei" recalls an idyllic cottage where Cockett and Morgan once lived together. "Rusty's House" commemorates gatherings at the home of surfer Rusty Miller. And haunting "Waipoo" was inspired by a hike on the rim of the Waimea Canyon. Still, in pure sonic terms, the music in These Trails more closely linked to British folk revivalists like Pentangle or Incredible String Band than anything overtly Hawaiian. The two "Psyche" tracks - "Psyche and I Share Your Water" and "Psyche II" - follow a serpentine, bend-filled guitar line over rustic landscapes, the weather mostly sunny but with occasional dark flurries of minor-key picking. Morgan's voice is flute-like in its tremulous, breathy vibrato. She sounds like purity and simplicity embodied in "Rapt Attention," one of the disc's prettiest songs, her soprano wreathed in dizzying close harmonies. In other tracks, such as "Hello Lou" where she sings in breezy unison with Cockett, there's a translucence to the vocals, as if you could see right through these brightly colored notes to the silence behind them."


"El Rey Pescador"

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