The Gertrudes Hard Water

The Gertrudes Hard Water
Out of Kingston, ON comes a gargantuan, 11-member ensemble called the Gertrudes. This delightful six-song collection of symphonic folk weaves trumpet, banjo, mandolin, accordion, ukulele, violin and trombone together into a bright and richly textured rug. From the scruffy '70s pop vibe and brass eruptions of grandly sweeping "Seymour" to lazily meandering instrumental "Kansas," this is a mesmerizing nugget of ambitious modern folk. There are several environmental anthems in the mix, including opener "River" and "Hard Water," a song written by Kingston farmer Ian Stutt. Clean, high male vocals stand alone at moments, while glorious, swaying full-band choruses burst onto the scene at others. Together since January, 2008, the Gertrudes have already been on several compilations with the likes of Sarah Harmer and Old Man Luedecke. This is their second EP release. Will someone please give these charming hippies some money so they can make a full album? More music ought to be this good. (Apple Crisp)