The Stray Birds 'Best Medicine' - Yep Roc

This folk/bluegrass trio have been refining their music since they first released an EP in 2010. This, their second full length album is their first for the Yep Roc label. Best Medicine features the sensitive playing and tight harmonies that have built their excellent reputation and adds to it with 10 new original songs and two traditional songs. Of there own songs there are immediately some songs that stand out like Feathers & Bone, The Bells, Simple Man and Might Rain. It is a craft that they are continuing to explore and find their place with. Their last EP Echo Sessions had the advantage of featuring a set of cover songs written by the likes of Townes van Zandt, the Louvin Brothers and Jimmie Rodgers, songs that have stood the test of time. These new songs show that they are developing their skills and these song will easily bear repeated listening.

The trio of Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven and Charles Muench are a self contained unit with strong vocals that see them alternating lead vocals with the others bringing their harmonies to bear on making the song special. The Stray Birds are also multi-instrumentalists, playing fiddle, guitar, piano, banjo, resonator and bass between them. They have co-produced the album with Stuart Martin which has a sound that is born of experience and progression.

Who’s Gonna Shoe shows how they can breathe new life into a traditional song and make it theirs as they have shown they can do with more recently written outside songs. They bring a directness and honesty to the way the deliver a song. Finding the essence of each song is something that they have managed from the start. So what it comes down to in the end is to connect with a larger audience in the long term, something  that working with a label like Yep Roc should prove valuable. Undoubtedly their music is “the best medicine they sell”.