Hometown Tragedies features Jim Terry (acoustic guitar/vocals), Clark Z. Terry (mandolin/bouzouki/vocals), Graham Terry (acoustic-electric guitars/violin/vocals), & Rob Wright (bass).
At times reminiscent of the Kingston Trio, with instrumentation steeped in old-English traditions such as Steeleye Span, Pentangle, Curved Air, the Rankins & a pinch of early Fairport Convention the band is more involved with traditional idioms & vocalizations than attempting to be innovative. This isn’t Woody Guthrie-Pete Seeger-Ramblin’ Jack Elliott folk music pulled from headlines & Union uprisings — but in regard to a more artistic story-based Appalachian quilt.
“My Birmingham Home,” is a delight. An uplifting melody, with honey-sweet violin sawing, & woven well-written lyrics stitched gently throughout the melody. Listen to it with a log burning on the fire.
While the vocals are good, they aren’t commanding authoritative vocalizing (it’s not necessary). There’s no signature sound like the late Richie Havens or deep tonality of Fred Neil, but what they do possess is radiating sincerity in each word they sing. I’m certain the likes of Jerry Garcia would’ve enjoyed this band because of their laid-back bluegrass approach, a thin glimmer of honesty without any pompous or bombastic messaging. You don’t have to be a lover of folk music to appreciate the music conveyed here.