‘Fern Girl & Ice Man’ The Lowest Pair - an eccentric quality(June 14, 2016)
Traditional banjo, guitar and roots music has from time to time enjoyed less than enthusiastic press. Its idiosyncrasies slide by some folk while others see it heading nowhere and stuck in some sort of blind alley. The antidote to this view is those practitioners that manage to take the genre out of a dead end and move it right along.
‘Fern Girl & Ice Man’ from The Lowest Pair, Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee, certainly moves banjo-driven roots music out and along but in a way that will engage with many, however some it may alienate. That’s not criticism it’s simply an observation. Their music is not so much love it or loathe it, it's engage or not, with not much room for anything else in between. The songs have an eccentric quality driven by their meandering and at times independent playing made more obvious by the slightly left-field vocals from both, especially Winter. The lingering ‘The River Will’ tells you what to expect, which songs like ‘Stranger’, ‘When They Dance the Mountains Shake’, ‘Spring Cleaning’ and ‘Waiting For The Taker’ expand and take further. The lyrics have a cutting edge and the messages come through loud and clear, all that’s needed is time to tune in to their wavelength and when you do you'll fall into the 'love it' camp.
The Lowest Pair are Kendl Winter (vocals, guitar, banjo), Palmer T. Lee (vocals, guitar, banjo) with Eric Koskinen (bass, drums, lap steel) Dave Simonette (guitar) and Barbara Jean Meyers (fiddle) guesting on ‘Fern Girl & Ice Man’.
Review: Tom Franks