The Twilite Broadcasters – Evening Shade
[tags: acoustic, folk, roots music, country]
Listen while reading:
More Pretty Girls Than One (from Evening Shade)
Southern Moon (from Evening Shade)
As a music blogger you (have to) discover new music almost every day and often you will find great stuff you consider worth sharing with the world – then you write an article about it and this is the regular case, I think. But to find a band that will be one of your all time favorites from now on, is a rare occasion and it puts you in a very pleasant situation – you want to smile and you get sort of high feeling listening to your new found music over and over. And right now I’m in such a mood, because Tunesmith from Call It Folk brought just such a band to my attention and I can’t thank him enough for pointing his finger at them. I’m speaking of The Twilite Broadcasters hailing from Weaverville/North Carolina, who just self-released their debut record Evening Shade.
And what does it take Adam Tanner and Mark Jackson to conjure forth such an album that makes me all jittery about hearing it? It takes them an acoustic guitar, a mandolin, two perfect voices and amounts and amounts of talent writing and playing songs without sounding boring or frumpy at any time. Every second of Evening Shade is a winner, equal if they play an instrumental with decent Irish or Scottish influences like in Twilite Schottische or an instrumental ragtime song like Ragtime Annie or just such wonderful country ballads like More Pretty Girls Like One. It’s just unbelievable how fresh they sound by simultaneously sounding old and classical.
Even though many tracks of the album seem to be cover versions, this takes nothing away from the overall experience I have every time I listen to it. It’s just that every note they play fits perfect in the track it is played as well as in the whole context of the album. The combination of mandolin and acoustic guitar works out so well that they achieve a very full sound with just those two instruments and this comes mostly from the enormous feeling they put in every melodie they play. It seems that all characteristics are fulfilled a superb record must have for me: all band members sing, it’s all acoustic, it’s honest, it’s diverting and you can feel the devotion of the musicians to the music they make. This is music history revealed and respawned in the most pleasurable manner one can think of. All the beauty that lies in classical American roots music can be found in these 40+ minutes.
If you are a regular reader of CFM, you may have noticed at some point, that I’m obsessed with the alt country band The Handsome Family and that I love all of their albums with all my heart. I don’t want to guide you in the wrong direction for I don’t want to say that I can compare The Twilite Broadcasters to them, because The Handsome Family draws from early roots music and transforms it into their own style, wherefore The Twilite Broadcasters relive roots music without transforming it into some sort of experimental alt country. But the point is, both bands draw from the same grounds and therefore I say, that The Twilite Broadcasters sound like The Handsome Family without the characteristics of The Handsome Family (I know that they aren’t influenced by the latter ones though). So, why I am saying this at all? It’s because there was no other band until now, that could give me this unique feeling I had listening to The Handsome Family. But this exactly feeling I can find in Evening Shade – and this is clearly something I searched for for a long, long time.
Just to get things straight: I don’t say that both bands are really comparable, I just say that the atmosphere of both often is relatively the same. And if you remember my review on Through The Trees, the most honorable thing I can do for a record is to say that it plays in the same league as Through The Trees for this album is one of my all time favorite records ever. And Evening Shade truly deserves its place there. As you see, I try to convert my feelings and thoughts into words and I’m aware of the fact, that I can’t do any better, because writing about music and actually listening to it, are two pairs of very different shoes. So, if you are in any way interested in early American roots music or in acoustic folk or contemporary country interpretations of old time music or any such thing, there is no other way in 2010 than to check out The Twilite Broadcasters and their magnificent debut album Evening Shade. This album is clearly the best music I heard in 2010 so far and all following releases have to take on against this monster of a record – and many will fail, that I know for sure.
At the moment there is no physical copy of the record available (but it will follow soon). To get the music anyways, you can purchase the Mp3 version over at iTunes. For additional information check out The Twilite Broadcasters‘ MySpace and make sure to visit their personal homepage. I will keep you updated as soon as the physical release is available.