‘Echo Sessions’ – The Stray Birds - yearning harmonies and unadorned acoustic simplicity(January 05, 2014)
There is (thankfully) an increasing number of bands that keep intensity of American folk music alive and well, among them are The Stray Birds – yearning harmonies wound around superbly delivered yet unadorned acoustic simplicity. Their five-track EP, ‘Echo Sessions’ is a taster that will surely leave lovers of American folk wanting more. And the good news for those of us this side of the pond is they have a UK and Ireland tour planned for the tail-end of January through mid-February.
So what of the band? The Stray Birds are Maya de Vitry (vocals, guitar, fiddle) Oliver Craven (vocals, guitar, mandolin) and Charles Muench (vocals, upright bass) – you will notice that all three share vocals and it’s the edgy harmony these three voices generate gives their interpretations of American folk a distinctly alluring edge.
Kicking off your EP with Townes van Zandt’s ‘Loretta’ may be considered brave by some, no problem here, The Stray Birds hit it spot on with sharp three-part harmonies and skipping mandolin. There’s the deliciously desolate ‘I’ll Be Your San Atone Rose’ given another faultless treatment. They again prove their abilities with their own take on Nanci Griffith’s ‘I Wish It Would Rain’, lead vocal emotive as it should be and harmonies right there too.
Details on tour dates here: thestraybirds.com/calendar
Reviewer: Tom Franks