Review Archive

‘Come Home To Me’ by The Gloria Darlings - richness of history and impulse of revolution

(June 14, 2013)

The Gloria Darlings are Pandi and Milly (aka Melissa Jane Pandiani and Amelia Boksenbaum) an thegloriadarlingsenchanting folk-grass duo from Seattle, and listening to their album ‘Come Home To Me’ is like hearing the richness of history flowing through the impulse of revolution. These songs integrate all the elements of old-time bluegrass and country with the freshness of spontaneous innovation.

The first impression is of listening to a duo immersed in decades of Americana, then you realise that the inspired fearlessness of youth drives their guitar, fiddle and voices. The instruments are living and breathing together while the voices enthuse with each other. The result is a journey of adventure through American folk with touches of gentle longing laid alongside hard edged determination, all forged through landscapes that engender the stories that tell their histories.

There’s a wealth of sharp original tunes to enjoy from plaintive sadness of ‘Come Home To Me’ and the intense resolution of ‘Ghost Girl’ to the rocking foot-stomp reel of ‘Little Bunny’ and the resigned longing within ‘To Care About You’. There’s also a quintessential version of Ray Price's ‘You Done Me Wrong’ (which with altered lyrics became If You Want to be a Bird in the film Easy Rider) and the infectious energy of ‘Jack of The Wood’ – no sitting still with this one.

The Gloria Darlings take all heritage that tradition avails, add their own idiosyncratic edge to create a rather special piece of American folk. You can find them here: www.thegloriadarlings.com. Playing with Pandi (vocals, guitar) and Milly (vocals, fiddle, mandolin) on ‘Come Home To Me’ is Michael Connolly (upright bass) – the album is available at Amazon, cdbaby and iTunes.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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