Oliver the Crow Oliver the Crow

Oliver the Crow Oliver the Crow
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Kaitlyn Raitz and Ben Plotnick may live in Nashville now, but they hail from north of the border, and spent many years honing their chops on this side of it. Accomplished musicians in their own right (Plotnick is a member of Juno Award-winning quartet the Fretless, while Raitz has toured extensively with folk acts such as the Bombadills), their collaboration is a welcome combination of classical technique and "deep folk" sensibility.
 
Cello and fiddle aren't usually thought of as rhythm instruments, but Raitz and Plotnick both have a real knack for rhythm, and can fill an incredible amount of sonic space with what's usually thought of as half a string section. No track captures this quite like "Sam River," an instrumental tune written by Plotnick, which comes at you like a freight train, but still manages to seem orchestral. Raitz's voice is sweet, straightforward and understated, but she belts out high notes, like those on "Sailing With The Tide," with surprising power.
 
In addition to their originals, Oliver the Crow cover some interesting repertoire on this album, including "Samson," by Regina Spektor, and a haunting, minor-key version of the bluegrass classic, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow." It's almost enough to make you miss the protest song, "45," an exquisitely written jab at you-know-who. To top it all off, this album was recorded entirely on solar power, in a cabin. It doesn't get more deep-folk than that. (Independent)