Hoth Brothers Band
Tell Me How You Feel
The Sound of New Mexico
I can’t remember why I missed the previous the Hoth Brothers album; but I did …… perhaps it was the judicious use of banjo; which I’m no lover of; but on sitting down overdosing on this release on a sunny Winter’s Sunday; I can only apologise to Bard, Boris and Sarah ….. the fault was mine; not yours.
As I say, I’m no lover of The Banjo; yet Bard Edrington’s delightful and intricate picking style; which opens the dark and majestic Judith sounds quite perfect; and I can’t imagine this tale with a guitar as lead instrument.
This s followed by Tell Me What You’re Thinking; one of those Folk Songs that may be about love (lost or broken?) or perhaps it’s a political statement hiding in-between the lines …. whichever; it is rather delightful and will unravel even more, I’m sure.
A couple of weeks ago I was part of an online discussion (argument!) about what Americana Music actually was/is.
If only I’d had this album to hand I would have won hands down!
This is because The Hoth Brothers Band somehow use many different constituent parts of traditional and Modern Folk Music; add a variety of Country spices to the broth and come out the other side with tales and stories that sound totally timeless and will mean as much to someone listening in Delaware, Arizona or New York City.
With 17 songs on offer, this trio offer so much, there’s even the danger of sensory overload, with Trouble and Desire being a sharply observed Country Song; of the Cowboy variety then is followed by the jaunty Country Gospel of Pappy’s Last Ride (about a man’s love for his aging dog) and a couple of songs later on One Hard Rain they couldn’t be more contemporay with this three-part harmony, acapella song about the Covid Pandemic sweeping the world …… yikes; when you hear this for the first time it will take your breath away.
Again; the sequencing is exemplary as that powerful song is followed by a powerful and heartfelt song about the human condition; Poor Man’s Light; leaving you absolutely breathless; even though it’s a slow and easy acoustic song.
Like so many albums today; there are no obvious ‘singles’ here; why would there be? The Hoth Brothers aren’t ever going to trouble Brittany, GaGa or Stormzy in the Top 40; so they just follow their collective hearts when it comes to writing and recording songs; which also made it a problem selecting a Favourite Song.
Would it be Sarah Ferrell’s turn at lead vocals on Wilding of Robby? Quite possibly; as on many another album it would be an undoubted highlight; as is the dark and brooding; Boogieman Mesa and Cliff Fendler had me Googling this flower.
But, there has been one other song that has intrigued and tantalised me from Day #1; Behold The Passage; one of those songs that sound absolutely timeless; as if it was first heard in a cantina back in the 30’s then past on by word of mouth through the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village and eventually coming out of the musical ether in 2020 as The Hoth Brothers were compiling songs for this release. I love it’s tragic beauty btw.
While the trio of Boris McCutcheon, Bard Edrington V and double bass player extraordinaire, Sarah Ferrell wrote the first 16 songs here, in one combination or another; the final words are left to a New Mexican songwriter that I’m not aware of; Lewie Wickham …. on Rough Ragged Edge; and it’s a song that capture the essence of Americana in a way you are unlikely to ever hear again.
I said earlier I overdosed on this album last Sunday; and I advise you to too, as the trio invoke so many memories of Townes, Woody, even early Dylan alongside a million others on this advert for the very best and deepest of Genuine Americana via what they themselves call; The Sound of New Mexico.
Released 20th January 2021
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