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The Harmed Brothers

A Lovely Conversation – 2016 (Fluff & Gravy)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by The Harmed Brothers

Honesty and conviction are inherent elements of Americana music, but the ability to convey these emotions in a credible and convincing way is the challenge faced by every contender, often the divide that separates success from failure. Credit the Harmed Brothers for managing to make music so rich and resolute that there's never any doubt as to where their intentions lie.

"A Lovely Conversation" is as pretty and pastoral as its title implies, and while the group taps certain familiar touchstones - the Avett Brothers on "Bottle to Bottle," The Band with "Here Comes the Cadillac" and "When I Get Back" - there's nary a hint of posturing or pretence. The rallying cry of the title track establishes the scenario - rich, robust and so flush with exuberance it can't but help but make an immediate impression. Their sound practically demands attention, and once it succeeds, there's clearly no letting go.

After three previous efforts worthy of renown - "All the Lies You Wanna Hear," "Come Morning" and 2013's "Better Days." "A Lovely Conversation" serves as a teaser for the group's next full length effort due to arrive early in 2017. However the fact that the bulk of the EP is made up of B sides suggests that there's no shortage of great material waiting in the wings. Producer John Shepski does a wonderful job of wringing every bit of emotion and exhilaration from these riveting tunes, creating a sound that's so evocative and inspiring it's practically impossible not to lean in and listen.