Three for Silver — The Way We Burn
(Bandcamp no#, 2017, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2017-11-07
When it comes to a band having factors that set it apart from the crowd, Three for Silver has a number of things to offer. First off, you’ve got leader Lucas Warford, who plays bass and sings. But the basses he plays are unique instruments including a “bass banjo” and an actual washtub upright, and his voice is a raspy attention-getter reminiscent of Tom Waits. Willo Sertain plays accordion and sings in a pure, sweet voice that contrasts dramatically with Warford’s gruff tone. And then there’s Greg Allison, who contributes various stringed instruments, primarily violin and mandolin, and also does the imaginative arrangements. When it comes to fleshing out the songs, a number of other musicians are brought in to cover drums, cello, banjo, piano, and so on. The moods range from energetic bluesy punk-folk to eerie droning mood pieces, and every one features imaginative touches that reward close attention. The sound is a marvelous amalgam of Nick Cave, The Pogues, Emily Barker, a slightly sinister singalong session on the porch of a rundown shack in a foggy forest, and more, all stirred up with an adventurous appreciation of the sonic possibilities of these acoustic instruments. I suppose there’s a connection to the whole New Weird America style, with roots going back to the Holy Modal Rounders and Comus, but that’s a big tent with lots of room for variation, in accordance with the “weird” part. Aside from any connections to the music of decades past, these 12 songs work today, and provide a refreshing alternative to artificial studio creations, maybe not completely live in a technical sense, but certainly alive. Highly recommended for those looking for something out of the ordinary.
Related artist(s): Three for Silver
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