Andrew and Zachari Smith Stumbling Horse

Andrew and Zachari Smith Stumbling Horse
6
Stumbling Horse, the second album from father-and-son British Columbia duo Andrew and Zachari Smith, showcases atypical folk arrangements fleshed out by an appealing blend of guitars, banjo, dobro, mandolin and some good old fashioned family harmony.

Andrew and Zachari share songwriting duties here, but it's the former, elder Smith, winner of the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition, who deploys some of the more forgettable lyrics. Worn-out, borderline cheesy metaphors and turns of phrase dot "Stumbling Horse," "Race to the Bottom," "Chunka Change" and "Five Senses," whereas Zachari seems to come into his own with "Me and You Girl," "I Knew You'd Understand" and "Baby Girl."

At 14 songs, including two bonus tracks and a lovely, too-short-by-half Bill Frisell-esque instrumental ("The Pilgrimage"), there's enough material here to balance out what could have been a weightier close-up on father-and-son songwriting. (Independent)