Kathryn Caine - Backwoods Sound
Country, Americana, Bluegrass
Virginia, United States
Overall Impression: "Backwoods Sound" is a gorgeous new release from the North Carolina family bluegrass band Ogden Heart. Siblings Isabel and Evans Humphreys on lead vocals and upright bass respectively are joined by their mother, accomplished singer/songwriter Kathryn Caine on this track, along with several of the region's finest pickers. Isabel paints a stirring portrait of pastoral Southern living on "Backwoods Sound", employing brilliant illustrative prose to illuminate the absolute purity and artistic merit of what was once simply referred to as "hillbilly music." Banjo, mandolin and pedal steel add scintillating color to a rock-solid rhythm section here, providing Humphreys' with the ideal backdrop for her naturally crystalline voice as she gives a truly stunning performance, imbuing listeners with her high and lonesome spirit. Ogden Heart's "Backwoods Sound" is a must-hear for any bluegrass enthusiasts, whether they be traditionalists or fans of newgrass, thanks to the superb authentic musicianship and progressive approach to production that shine through on this song.
Strongest Point(s): Outstanding production and an excellent mix. Great tonal balance and clarity. Love the intro and outro, the filter effect used there really does well to enhance the track and give it a modern sheen. Stellar playing by the entire ensemble, all in the service and support of the singer and the song; never overpowering or outshining Isabel's vocal, which is absolutely breathtaking in itself. Clever songwriting, very vivid imagery and wonderful usage of metaphors and similes; "Mona Lisa on a dirt road" is particularly striking. Overall, it's a beautiful tune and an incredibly polished track that should have no trouble finding an audience, and should really resonate within the bluegrass community thanks to its clear reverence and admiration of the genre. Fantastic work on this song, by everyone involved!
Target Audience Appeal: Bluegrass, Contemporary Bluegrass, Contemporary Country, Neo-Traditionalist Country, Alternative Country, Folk, Indie Folk, Americana
Artist target suggestions: Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Molly Tuttle, Sara Watkins, Natalie Maines, Kacey Musgraves, Ellen Jewell, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Laurie Lewis, Kathy Mattea, Claire Lynch, Nancy Blake, The Chicks, Nickel Creek, Union Station, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Gillian Welch
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About the Reviewer:
Steven Azami is a multi-instrumentalist with over 25 years of experience in the music industry. Both as a touring/session player and as a producer, his career has spanned nearly every genre, from bluegrass to jazz, from rock to reggae. In addition, his work as a music educator has allowed him to cultivate and foster talent among the next generation of musical explorers