‘Escape from Clinch Mountain’ from The Bara Bara Band - nothing by halves(November 03, 2014)
This album offers an eclectic mix of traditional British influence mixed with a heavy dose of heritage Americana. It comes from London-based The Bara Bara Band and it’s called ‘Escape from Clinch Mountain’. After a couple of EPs, this is their debut album and reflecting their wealth of influence becomes a wholly distinctive recording that perfectly delivers in terms of style, melody, lyrics and vocals. It has a certain focus that builds throughout to show a band concentrating on their own idiosyncratic delivery. If you found their EPs to your liking then this will become a favourite.
The mix of music on ‘Escape from Clinch Mountain’ spans more than style and influence, the scope of the songs move through successive arrays of impression from quaint observation to suggested sadness and leisurely narration to revved up exuberance. ‘Sister’ is a gently reflective song with a softly engaging melody, American singer-songwriter Tucker Zimmerman’s ‘Oregon’ narrates the journeys of migrants taking the Oregon Trail to California, the fragile-sounding vocals of‘Nevermind’ breaks the ‘love song’ format into a wholly engaging configuration, and the vivacious arrangement of ‘Johnny Booker/ Old Jimmy Sutton’ takes old time fiddle tunes to another level, while the revelling enjoyment of ‘Escape From Clinch Mountain’ fairly rattles along.
‘Escape from Clinch Mountain’ does nothing by halves, no insipid middle-road here, this is trademark Bara Bara Band music. Taking its diversity totally under control, it ranges comfortably between innovative old-time Americana to slightly psychedelia-tinged British folk.
The Bara Bara Band are Ruth Jacob (vocals, banjo, harmonica, tin whistle) Rupert Browne (guitar, vocals, bass) Will Dobson (cajon, percussion, vocals) and Boris Ming (fiddle, percussion, keyboards, vocals).
Reviewer: Tom Franks