Cahalen Morrison & Eli West 'Our Lady Of The Tall Trees' - Self-Release

Another album rooted in acoustic music and shaped by a history. The duo play clawhammer banjo, guitar, mandolin and bouzouki on a set of songs mostly written by Morrison, but with a couple of songs from Norman Blake and Townes Van Zandt. The latter's Loretta is given a poignant reading that does justice to the songs. The two sing in harmony with their sparse but effective picking. This sounds pretty much how you would expect to hear them delivering the songs in person.

The sound is universal and could have emerged in Ireland or the UK as easily as from the US. They cover a lot of land from the vast plains in the traditional The Poor Cowboy to Morrison's Heartland Sea to the closing instrumental Red Prairie Dawn. There is a sleeve note from Tim O'Brien which tells of the scope that two voices and some stringed instruments can have and that "a lot of faith and conviction" inherits their music.

If you like well written songs, played well in a fundamental fashion, then the music of Morrison and West will draw you in. Whether it's the tale of making music to make people smile in Church Street Blues or the traditional tones of Stone To Sand there is much to  absorb in the music made by this talented duo.