Album review

Laura Veirs - Troubled By The Fire

If Gillian Welch floats your boat, chances are Laura Veirs will, too, though her take on homespun Appalachia is tempered by modernist tendencies. Anyone familiar with 1999's eponymous guitar-and-voice-only debut will be taken aback here, ditching much of its thorny agit-folk for dreamily intoxicating balladry, sawing strings and near-perfect vocal phrasing. Opener "Lost At Seaflower Cove" and "Tiger Tattoos" are flawless backwoods country pickers, while Danny Barnes (see Roundup, right) duets on the folksy "Ballad Of John Vogelin" and jazz legend/sometime Jeff Buckley collaborator Bill Frisell provides classy fretwork. Scintillating stuff.

Rating: 4 / 10


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The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...