Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Big Harp, Chain Letters

OK, so here's something that came out in January and what took me so long to review it? My only excuse is that I've had a lot on my plate this year. Something worth talking about months ago is still worth talking about now, I figure. Either that or we exist in such an ephemeral world that the blur of its passing makes it difficult to nail down impressions for once and all. I will go with the first option, the only one I can comfortably exist inside.

So here goes. Big Harp is the conjunction of Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney. Chain Letters (Saddle Creek) is their second effort, a rather unusual melange of solid singer-songwriting, indie rock, sometimes with a slight country accent, and a harder-edged feel. There's some formidable guitar playing, good rocking arrangements contrasting with some more gentle-sounding things, and lyrical content that has depth and a storytelling directness.

Chris has an appealing, twangy lead vocal presence that has a laid back quality. Stefanie sounds fine as harmonizing vocalist.

This is one where the songs are good and they carry the day, whether it is January or September.

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