With one foot firmly planted in Appalachian tradition and the other stretching to reach new ground, Red June showcases stellar three-part harmonies and incredible instrumental work on this third CD. The previous projects (their debut Remember Me Well and the 2012 release Beauty Will Come) garnered strong attention. On this third album, Ancient Dreams, the Asheville, N.C., trio of Natalya Weinstein (fiddle and vocals), Will Straughan (resonator guitar, mandolin, guitar, and vocals) and John Cloyd Miller (guitar, mandolin and vocals) take their talents to an even higher level. In addition, they solicited the support of Balsam Range’s Tim Surrett to produce the project and to play upright bass.
This 11-cut disc features nothing but the group’s original material with all three members demonstrating their tunesmith talents. Miller, who penned five of the tracks, won the Chris Austin Songwriter Contest at MerleFest in 2013. The longtime buddies first jammed together at a party in Asheville in 2005 and, three years later, they formed the band. Their incredible vocals continue to meld together perfectly, which is demonstrated on songs such as the a cappella, “I Am Free.” You should also enjoy the instrumental cuts “Gabriel’s Storm” and “31.” (Organic Records, P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704, www.redjunemusic.com.)BC