The latest self-titled release from the Evie Ladin Band is a mix of folk, bluegrass and Appalachian music using both traditional and unconventional instrumentation. Some tracks are pretty straight forward, such as the instrumental Sleepy Eyed Joe
as well as covers of the Carter Family's Shadow Of The Pines
and Ewan MacColl's The First Time
Lead vocalist, banjoist and primary songwriter Ladin, a member of The Stairwell Sisters, also contributes some traditional sounding material with Down To The Girl/Lost Door and Weathering.
Elsewhere non-traditional instruments and percussion are utilized. The opening track Got You On My Mind features bassist (and Ladin's husband) Keith Terry banging some metal toys together for an interesting percussive effect. Terry and Ladin also employ "body music" on several tracks, while on a cover of Dock Bogg's Sugarbabe Terry's credits include a cajon and Engelhart gankogui used to good effect.
Lyrically, Ladin moves easily between darkness and humor. He's Not Alone (which features Terry on pizza pan) is the tale of a relationship in which the woman is unable to commit ("He wants to take me to be his one and only bride/I can't spend my lifetime settled down, inside/His eyes hold the sweetest love I've known/So I call him to tell him that he is not alone").
The lighthearted Coffeeshop is an amusing observation on the importance of coffee shops in the laptop age ("Once there was an office with a lonely percolator/We stood there for a minute, it's like I'll see you later/Now I got an office anywhere I'm pluggin' in/Buzzin' in the hubbub with a double cappuccino").
With Ladin's compelling vocals nicely supported throughout by Terry along with Dina Maccabee (fiddle, harmony vocals) and Erik Pearson (guitar, harmony vocals), this is an impressive effort.