Blending bluegrass, Americana, and a bit of Irish soul via Eoman McLoughlin's fiddle, the trio has created that almost-perfect album that usually precedes the perfect one artists spend their whole lives trying to recapture. From the alternating employment of a mandolin and violin as leads over guitar, to the unorthodox use of these instruments as substitutes for the absent percussion section, to the haunting voices of Kym Warner and especially Carol Young, there is plenty to enjoy here. Most surprising is how well the instrumental songs such as "Almost Home" and "Marty's Kitchen" work on an album with such memorable vocals, feeling like a Texas party at which you fell in love, while the closing instrumentation of "The House on Vine Street" feels like a short story that once made you cry.
| Weather and Water |
As for the rest of the album, expect something that evokes thoughts of Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, and Young and Warner's fellow Aussie Kasey Chambers. Standouts include ... well, most everything. If anything, that's the lone flaw here - the songs can be so similar that tracks begin to blur together.
"The Ghost of Who We Were" starts things off with Young crooning, "Should I stay or should I leave your memory behind?," while the title track and Patty Griffin-penned "What You Are" are equally jarring to the heart muscle. Warner is the perfect male foil to Young, his lead vocals on tracks such as "Like A Melody" and "Bordered on A Breakdown" upbeat and uptempo. His voice never infiltrates your soul like Young's, but his "Long Way Down" is easily one of Weather and Water's best. •
By Cole Haddon