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The Good Intentions

The Long Unbroken Line – 2016 (Tres Pescadores)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by The Good Intentions

The Good Intentions take their handles seriously. Their name reflects a genuine desire to transplant their homespun harmonies and Gram-meets-Emmylou embrace to the far side of the Atlantic. And indeed, the title bears relevance by finding a continuous thread that advances roots relevance by offering nods to their Americana forebears. This they do by adhering to the basics, specifically, the two voices of husband-wife duo R. Peter Davies and Gabrielle Monk, simple acoustic accoutrement and only the barest additives when extra instrumentation is called for.

As overseen by producer Rick Shea, this Liverpool couple offer lovely, lingering melodies that resonate with simple sentiments revolving around home and hearth. The lack of pretence is strikingly obvious, but songs such as "A Long Way Home," "Best Home Cowboy," "Hard Times Have Come Again" and "The Trouble With Whiskey," resonate with a sadness, sweetness and sincerity that recalls long forgotten country classics recorded prior to the advent of cowboy-hatted radio-ready personalities and the slick sounds imprinted on every commercial hit emanating from Music Row.

Despite their English origins, Davies and Monk offer a deep reverence for music once bred in the American heartland, and in the case of the traditional "The Leaving of Liverpool," the restless folk narratives emanating from their native U.K. It's a seamless combination, one that owes to the tenant that oftentimes less in better, ambition and ingenuity aside.

"The Long Unbroken Line" can be summed up succinctly as a set of songs so sweet, it always connects in ways that stir the emotions and give pause for reflection. It's heartfelt in its sincerity and affecting in its purity of purpose. A wonderful and remarkable record, it finds The Good Intentions making good on their promise.