The Brendan Benson-produced 3rd album from the brothers gets a large thumbs up from Scott
The Lost Brothers The Passing Of The Night is the group’s 3rd album and they have hit a home run.
The album begins with the beautiful ‘Not Now Warden’ – all lush and gentle harmonies, minimal percussion, guitars both plucked and strummed – laid back folk music at its very best. A dream-like, liquid-sounding guitar break halfway through the song is executed with seriously understated panache, magnificent stuff. The sound is soft and brilliantly produced, no rough edges here.
The second track ‘Bird in A Cage’ opens with a fantastically jangly banjo and plucked steel guitar intro, a taste of the bayou. This is a perfect contrast to the soft tones of the opening track and is a clever piece of tracklisting. The southern sounding shuffle is akin to the Soggy Bottom Boys in the filmOh Brother Where Art Thou. This is really excellent stuff and a tasteful rag-time piano solo seals the deal.
On to track three and the soft reggae vibe of ‘Send Me Off To Sleep’, allied with some tasteful blues licks and vocal harmonies, has the listener nodding along, some great guitar picking again on the solo and it’s 2 minutes and 36 seconds of perfection. ‘Farside’ is a gentle affair, stylishly executed, while ‘Now That The Night Has Come’ has an early Simon and Garfunkel vibe – the vocal delivery here is particularly impressive.
Track 6, ‘Widowmaker’, has a marvellously western feel at about one minute and twelve seconds in, the high treble shining brillianly. This is incredibly creative music, the contrast and variation of the first 6 songs is genuinely stunning. ‘Tumbling Line’ has a happy-go-lucky piano line and is punctuated perfectly by a straight rock beat – vintage Brian Downey playing. At only 2 minutes and 9 seconds the track is perfectly precise and a testament to the effectiveness of simplicity. ‘Blinding Glow’ has a hint of early Cat Stevens, both in its finger picked guitar style and vocal delivery.
‘Blue Moon in September’ is wonderfully unnerving, a fairground organ vibe that floats eerily before guitars puncture it – imagine the track at the closing scene of a hit cult movie, lots of dead bodies on the ferris wheel in an abandoned fairground, Tarantinoesque etc.. ‘Hey Miss Fannie’ is an old-school early Rock & Roll or rockabilly romp, all swinging hips and upright bass, perfect for the jukebox in the local diner, it’s the only cover version on the album and was written by Ahmet Ertegun and originally recorded in 1955 by The Wink Westerners featuring Roy Orbison. Closing track ‘Until the Morning’ ebbs gently and brings proceedings to a close.
The variation and sheer diversity of the album is impressive to say the least. Also, for an album so diverse in styles, the content never splinters or jars. The strength of the tracklising from start to finish is of such a high standard and so consistent that the album never dips or lulls in quality or creativity.
Outstanding stuff and highly, highly recommended.