The Odd Birds
Taking 60’s & 70’s Folk Rock and Giving It a Contemporary Americana Makeover.
I wasn’t really in the mood for reviewing this morning; it gets me like that sometimes ….. but there were still 7 albums sitting around waiting for release this Friday and 14 for next; and they won’t write themselves. So; after two strong cups of coffee and a vigorous walk around the Park I’ve decided to go for an album/EP released last December!
This rather charming and vibrant mini-album came via the Producer Bobbo Byrnes tipping the band/duop off about the site; and apparantly they were already ‘followers’ (reminder: RMHQ is not a Cult) but had been a bit shy about offering this for review.
Coming from Southern California; double act Ron Grigsby and the effervescent Jennifer Moraca combine to create rather lovely Americana music that errs on the side of Gram and Emmylou and the UK’S finest exponents My Darling Clementine; as both singers have very disparate voices and singing styles but when combined …… WOW!
The slightly edgy Better Get Outta This Town opens the album with Grigsby sounding not a million miles away from Roger McGuinn; but the song takes on a life of of its very own when Jennifer adds her lovely voice on harmonies and Grigsby uses his swirling Hammond Organ like a threatening weapon.
The couple stray into 60’s Folk Rock territory with the delightful Jenny-Lynn (Won’t You Come Home); luscious harmonies, 12 string acoustic and a melody that sounds like a herd of butterflies coming at you out of a bright sun first thing in the morning.
Tucked away in the middle is Fly; a song so complex it’s nigh on impossible to believe that there are only two people on the recording …… it sounds like it’s a fully fledged six piece in the studio at 4am after a long and heavy recording session that was all made worthwhile by this rather excellent five and a half minutes.
With only 6 songs here; I’m surprised that they include two cover songs; and very brave choices they are.
The Odd Birds slow Little Feet’s Classic, Willin’ down to a lazy Southern stroll and choosing Jennifer to take lead could have been crazy; but …. do you know what? It somehow works ….. I don’t know why; it just does.
The other is probably a bit more ‘obvious’; but then again Gram and Emmylou seem to have gone out of fashion in recent years; so being reminded of their genius via Ron Grigsby’s grizzled and leathery vocal performance that is beautifully enhanced by Jennifer’s pearlescent voice does the original version no harm at all.
In another life that song would have been my Favourite Track; but one of the Odd Birds’ own songs actually edged it out on the line; Better Days is as dark and brooding as my mood today; today and hearing Jennifer Moraca sound like she’s fighting back tears as the pace quickens until you feel they are driving around a mountain bend that they might not survive; makes this a song you just have to hear!
While so many youngsters buy a buckskin jacket, Gibson Jumbo and wear their fringe like Roger McGuinn ……. they forget they have to have lived their life to the max; before their songs become authentic …… and that’s were The Odd Birds really come alive.
These songs sound believable; and have the capacity to live with the listener for a long, long time …. if not forever.
Released December 2020
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