Bluegrass played in the finest traditions of the genre, the Stray Birds come armed with fiddles, banjos, guitars, upright bass and little else. The production is very much a stripped down sound with plenty of sweet harmonies and spacious playing from this trio of very talented musicians.
This is their debut release and the eleven songs are filled with salutary tales of prison and regret, sweet love remembered and dreams of the times to come. There is a particularly arresting fiddle workout on the trio of songs, Give That Wildman a Knife/ Bellows Falls/ Waitin’ on a Hannah. Earth music by another name, the traditions of folk/roots music run through these songs like a beacon of light.
The arrangements are tight and filled with a complementary playing dynamic that is developed over a fine understanding of each other and a sense of where the tune is in need of enhancement. This is never more obvious than on the beautiful Harlem which is a perfect slow tribute to the memory of a time perhaps now passed.Just Sayin’ skips along with a jazzy rhythm and a happy melody to celebrate good times.
Stray Birds is joy to listen to from start to finish and already a contender for those top 10 releases at the end of the year. Feel free to explore.