Zachary Lucky’s The Ballad of Losing You is unapologetically anachronistic in every sense, save for the presumably modern medium through which you hear it. Swooning pedal steel, dobro, fiddle, piano, banjo and bass eloquently fill the canvas around Lucky’s gently strummed six-string, but it’s the robust, world-worn manner and clarity of Lucky’s voice that is the subtle marvel of the album. Dubbed “The Laureate of the Lonesome Song,” Lucky is an acclaimed veteran on the Canadian folk scene (The Ballad of Losing You is his sixth release).
Lucky’s songs have lived lifetimes. They sit you down, tell you their stories and heighten your senses to the wonders of nature, love and self. Lucky’s previous album, 2012’s Saskatchewan, was a nostalgic ode to his prairie home, while he roots The Ballad of Losing You in crisp country-western beauty and English folk-ballad tradition.
The result is an elegant, forlorn album immersed in the timeless spirit of Townes Van Zandt. It’s fitting then that Lucky both name-checks Townes’ “Waitin’ for the Day” (on the stunning “Woke Up”) and circles back around to cover that very tune five songs later. Singing “I woke up just wishing to be / just lost on the road or lost in a dream / with you by my side and Townes on the radio / just singing something about / waiting for the day,” Lucky goes on to daydream his ex-lover and him driving and singing along to Bob Dylan’s “Song to Woody.”
Gorgeous melodies set to a wide range of topics from Selkies and Native Americans to modern dreams and stories, a barbed-wire Jesus and a ’56 Blue Chevy. Delicate guitar work with unusual tunings, and a voice most like a young Judy Collins.Mahon recorded and co-produced Rise with Lon and Elisabeth Williamson at Gatorbone Studios in Keystone, Florida, a studio which highlights music created and performed in Florida. A carefully selected ensemble of players including Penny Nichols on harmony vocals, Gabe Valla of the Gatorbone Band on acoustic guitar, Jason Thomas of the Grammy Winning Claire Lynch Band on fiddle (“Dust Tracks in the Road” & “Honey Tree”), Hannah Alkire of Acoustic Eidolon on cello (“Harvee’s Song,” “Rabbit Hole” and “The Selkie Bride”), and Tuck Tucker on Dobro (“Rio” and “’56 Chevy”) lend their support to the songs on Rise.
Originally released in the late 1970s, this album was a follow-up to Sunday Street, an album on which Dave Van Ronk had abandoned any attempts to accommodate contemporary popular music and returned to an acoustic context and a repertoire of blues and jazz standards. He did much the same thing here, including material by Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin, as well as Furry Lewis and Brownie McGhee, fingerpicking with his usual care and singing in his usual comforting growl. “Did You Hear John Hurt?,” “Pastures Of Plenty,” and “Song To Woody” nodded to mentors Mississippi John Hurt and Woody Guthrie, and peers Tom Paxton and Bob Dylan. If the result was not quite the equal of Sunday Street, it was in the same league and continued Van Ronk’s mature renaissance.
Austin Miller- voice, acoustic and electric guitars, piano, electric organ, Casiotone, harmonium, percussion, glass harp Kyle Miller- upright bass, voice, brotherly love Christopher Bell- cello, viola, baritone guitar Derek Cerretani- drums Casey Chambers- voice, banjo Tommy Hannum- pedal steel Jared Abare- trumpet Matthew Mendel- drums, voice Caleb Fooks- voice Matthew Fowler- voice Ben Smith- trumpet […]
One of the founding members of female super group Celtic Woman, Meav returns to her musical origins with The Calling – 12 tracks of newly written songs, folk ballads and fresh interpretations of timeless classics. Produced and co-written by the Grammy award-winning producer Craig Leon, responsible for iconic records by Blondie, Talking Heads, Ramones and […]
Hailing from Portland, Maine, The Mallett Brothers have hit the road hard over the last few years breaking out of the local scene to play venues from New Hampshire to Texas.The Mallett Brothers Band is an alt-country/rock band from Portland, Maine.This is the band’s third album, and their best. Elements of country rock, southern rock, […]