‘The End Of The World’ - Harpeth Rising(August 20, 2012)
Harpeth Rising is another band that has ‘moved on’ from its previous albums with this latest offering, the somewhat apocalyptically titled ‘The End Of The World’ - there’s a more cynical, almost antagonistic feel to this music. The song writing reflects tougher times and wider experiences – and not all of them pleasant. There’s a gutsy edge that wasn’t evident before. The band’s stance has changed, moving away from their trouble-free ‘folk-bluegrass’ feel to a more cynical, pessimistic-blues structure. Perhaps the album’s sub-title ‘David Greenberg and Harpeth Rising’ gives it away.
David Greenberg, father of violinist and co-founding band member Jordana Greenberg, wrote all the songs on this one. Handling lead vocals on most of the songs, David’s throaty and growling vocals immediately change the emphasis, as does the sometimes downbeat and lethargic tone of his lyrics. There’s something lost and something gained here – as is always the way. It’s almost inevitable when a band hands over its song writing essence to another person, friend, relative or collaborator.
From the ‘road-song’ narrative style of ‘Goin My Way’ through the lost-and-found loneliness encapsulated in ‘Senorita’ to the sad resignation of ‘Out Of Sight’ the world-weary attitude persists. As previously stated, there’s something added even if it’s at the expense of innocence lost, but if it makes good music and it does - nobody should complain - just listen to ‘Truck Stop Mama’ a pure gem. Between the melancholic stories there’s also the sparkling vibrant feel of ‘Goin’ Goin’ Gone’ and the huge depth of feeling in the more gentle, serene acceptance of ‘Nowhereland’ and the sadness of ‘Outlaw’ which more closely reflect the band’s earlier style.
Keep your musical mind wide open and your expectations unrestricted, and take on ‘The End Of The World’ it has both strength and gentleness combined.
On this album the musicians are: David Greenberg (guitar, vocals) Jordana Greenberg (violin, vocals) Rebecca Reed-Lunn (banjo, vocals) Maria Di Meglio (cello, vocals) and Chris Burgess (percussion, vocals).
Reviewer: Tim Carroll