Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Review -- FLAT MOUNTAIN GIRLS -- Idle Talk & Wicked Deeds

IDLE TALK & WICKED DEEDS
Flat Mountain Girls
Independent
7.5-out-of-10

Sticking with folk music, I swing south this week to listen to Idle Talk & Wicked Deeds from the Portland, OR, all-female quartet the Flat Mountain Girls.
Boy, do these gals take you back. The lead cut Little Black Train (the CD title is extracted from the lyrics of this one) could have come off a CD recorded in the 1930s just as easily as it comes from today. The style here is old roots music, steeped in a tradition dating back decades.
That will mean it is something of an acquired taste.
The gals call themselves an old-time string band, and that is exactly what they are. The music is carried by Rachel Gold on banjo, and Lisa Marsicek on fiddle, with help from guitarist Nann Alleman and bassist Laura Quigley.
This CD includes Poor Orphan Child and Jealous Hearted Me, both from the famous Carter Family, All My love In Vain from Robert Johnson, and Sleepy Eyed John from Johnny Horton, which provides a pretty good indication of what the Flat Mountain Girls are all about.
This is a CD old in style, wonderful in harmonies, and enjoyable in the selection of the 15 songs included here.
That said, you have to appreciate the old country, the music of a half century ago, or this will not be for you. This reminds me a lot of music my grandparents listened too, music I remember as a youth I could not stand.
Thankfully, just like I've grown to like the taste of turnips and parsnips, I've come to enjoy this music for its purity, and in that sense, these gals have it.
Check them out at www.flatmountaingirls.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.2, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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