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The Pines - Sparrows In The Bell

Sparrows In The Bell

The Pines

Red House Records - RHR CD 201

Available from Red House Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mike Jurkovic
(rnrcurmudgeon@yahoo.com)

I'm a sucker for compelling lyrics set inside a loamy, Big Sky, shadowy expanse of hushed guitars and broken road vocals. So when I hear "I'm gonna pretend this is heaven / Just in case / I get up to the gates / And they don't recognize my face" from Don't Let Me Go, the second track behind the alienated opener Horse and Buggy, I figure it's going to be a captivating listen.

Which Sparrows In The Bell most certainly is. Recorded in three days in what sounds like the early, hung over hours after a Northwest January snow, the narratives of The Pines—David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey—in many instances become more than songs. They become like age-old meditations: One moment you think you have it figured out and the next new interpretations dog you. "Fighting never keeps the things that fighting won" from the circular, quietly picked and poetic Circle Round The Sun is another such instance. Then, from the spooked Light Under The Door comes another "If it's true it's a sin to be born / Then death is forgiveness, I guess."

Produced by Ramsey's father Bo Ramsey (Greg Brown, Lucinda Williams) with a well worn team of Minneapolis best players, especially bassist Chris Morrissey, drummer J.T. Bates adding an intangible breadth to every song, The Pines new spins on ancient images and sounds conjure a Delta, Dylan-like mystery, like the romance of shadows, trying to steal all they can before the daylight finds them.

Track List:

  • Horse & Buggy
  • Don't Let Me Go
  • Without A Kiss
  • Throw Me In The River
  • Let's Go
  • Circle Around The Sun
  • Light Under The Door
  • Careless Love
  • Midnight Sun
  • Goin' Home
Produced by Bo Ramsey

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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