Sunday, 25 September 2011

Big Harp - White Hat

Omaha Son

Here's a great, completely unadorned but simply and superbly played album by a husband/wife duo from the place of my birth, Omaha, Nebraska.

The singing of Chris Senseney does it most for me. There's a rasp and a depth that reminds me of someone else I can't recall - try as I have whilst listening. Suffice to say, it's excellent, and track Out in the Field puts it on fine and varied display with a Tom Wait's range of squeals and screams without Wait's bass gravel. I've also heard Tim Hardin and John Sebastian in other songs.

The simplicity is showcased in a track like opener Nadine which sounds as if it's recorded in an empty room with upright piano in a corner and Chris singing into a single mic. Perfect. Second track Everybody Pays introduces more instrumentation but it is the vocal that again dominates. Is it Bill Withers I hear too? There's a baritone echo of more recent Chris Smithers. I just can't put my aural finger on it, but the prominence demands recognition.There's some great wild guitar playing in All Bets Are Off.

One of the best 'new' voices/albums I've heard in a while.

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