Barnaby Saints don't give up and neither do I. They wanted me to hear their music, and I don't let a song fall through the gaps of any inter-net pavement. This folk and bluegrass band is a breath of fresh everything.
From Their Biography:
Barnaby Saints are a Los Angeles based group that fuses a mix of bluegrass, gospel, indie rock and layered harmonies. Described in one review as " the lovechild of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and The Devil Makes Three," the band fuses old folk story telling with lush vocals, banjo, dobro, and swelling B3 organ to create a unique soundscape. With a debut EP recorded in June 2011, the band has garnered positive reviews, played great shows, toured on the west coast, and enjoyed performing music together. With a new album and fall tour in the works, Barnaby Saints is looking forward to a full year and more good times.
This EP was self-produced by Barnaby Saints, along with Scott Coslett and Todd Berman, mixed by Scott Coslett and Todd Bergman and mastered by Peter Barker.
Track by Track
Over and Over- The fast running sound is upbeat, while the fiddle follows its own path. The voices are blended with drums that don't overwhelm the song. The lyrics are wise and easy to relate to, making sense of the pace of time and repetition, which often we can not avoid.
Bones- The strong rhythms and harmonies reminded me of Ha Ha Tonka, my favorite folk band from the Ozarks. Facing life and death with courage, there is hope in circular things. Picking guitar and tambourine offer a very different sound from their first song, with poignant categories of phrasing, this track has some power behind it. I'd love to see and hear this played live. It will be a clapping foot stomper for sure!
Half The Time- The acoustic and clear vocal lead is a great opener to this song. This tune reminded me of "Coming Home' by Langhorne Slim, but the Saints have more production and instruments behind this tune. The sound is clean, romantic, breezy and youthful.
Tennessee- Dreamy, expansive, reaching, yearning, hopeful.
Washing Me Down- Whistling effects, banjos with harmonies, add a country vibe, to what could be a raw version of a Fleetwood Mac sound, who happened to incorporate a lot of folk and blues into their music. I just saw Lindsey Buckingham , and his entire take on music after all of this time, is that the 'the little machine vs. the big machine' comparison needs to be made constantly, to keep life in the recording industry balanced.
Waiting For Day- We get a little organ leading the group to a sing along with a gospel elevation. The high notes shine with inclusiveness, the fiddle floats.
Blue Winter- This could be a popular radio song. It has a modern singer-songwriter acoustic feel to it, but then moves into the bluegrass form. Barnaby Saints know what they play best and they stand up for it.
This record just fits into exactly what you'd expect from a contemporary folk band and is recommended to any collector of this genre, but it would also be an easy addition to those of us who are new to this song form. It is harmonic, warm, accessible and demonstrates understated talent. The production and arrangements bring out the best in these musicians, when blending their accomplishments as a group. My only critique is that they get their names out to the public, to get more credit for their work!
Meet Barnaby Saints:
Drums ~ Anthony Lopez
Bass ~ Frank DiVanna
Organ ~ J.T. Thomas
Upright Bass ~Tom Freund
Fiddle ~ Aubrey Richmond
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