This is a trio with a focus on vocals. The presence of producer/engineer Aaron Ramsey on mandolin adds depth to the group sound and pumps up their presence. Aubrey Eisenman plays bass and sings all of the lead vocals. Her husband Justin Eisenman plays guitar and provides backup vocals. John Duncan provides the fiddling. Aubrey also wrote ten of the eleven songs on this project.
The band sound is modern Americana, with hints of bluegrass, country, and popular music. The arrangements are tight and well done. The songs are all good, if not compelling. The standout cut is the band’s cover of Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.”
This recording is sonically rich. The instruments all sound great. Eisenman’s vocals are expressive, and her songs are good vehicles for abilities. They hint at rock-and-roll on “Don’t Mean Nothing” while elsewhere, the songs are more contemplative. The band, for the most part, does a strong job of making the songs come to life. They know enough to use understatement to make their point. This is a pleasant departure from straight-ahead bluegrass, yet is close enough to be pleasing to those attuned to the genre. (Travianna Records, 1187 Alum Ridge Rd.NW, Willis, VA 24380, www.traviannarecords.com.)RCB