The Clayton of this Saskatchewan-based duo is Clayton Linthicum, now making a name for himself as the new guitarist in Deep Dark Woods; Kacy is vocalist (and songwriter) Kacy Anderson. The cousins began performing together at folk festivals in 2010, released a self-titled debut a year later, and have now delivered one gem of a second album.
Most of the material here features the pair's adaptations of traditional tunes, beginning with the opening tune "The Cherry Tree Carol," one of the oldest songs in the English language, while the three originals fit seamlessly. Kacy has the kind of pure voice reminiscent of English folk greats like Sandy Denny, Shirley Collins and Maddy Prior. Devoid of any affected twang, it flies straight and true into the listener's heart. Clayton contributes tastefully on guitar, autoharp, fiddle, pump organ, and harmony vocals, resulting in songs that generally sound as if they originated in rural England rather than south of the Mason-Dixon Line. We're guessing The Child Ballads are their musical Bible, and they do indeed evoke days that are past and gone.
The only guest turns are taken by Ryan Boldt and Jody Weger, who contribute on a song apiece (Deep Dark Woods main man Boldt co-produced with the duo). Just when the sedate pace threatens to become a bit dull, they pick things up on the final cut, "I'll Be So Glad." With Boldt chiming in on pump organ and vocals, it has a fuller and more gospel-tinged sound that rounds the album out in uplifting fashion.
We can indeed be very glad for this disc. It's remarkable to think that Kacy is just 16 and Clayton 19. Let's hope they get to take this on the road. (Independent)