The Pines Tremolo

The Pines Tremolo
This Iowa-raised, Minneapolis duo are comprised of David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey. Their 2007 disc, Sparrows In The Bell, made an impact in Europe, and this third album deserves to up the ante. Its songs don't jump out at you with catchy hooks or hummable melodies but the sparse and haunting mood of the album washes over you like an early morning smog. Their poetic lyrics also gently insinuate themselves with every spin. The album may have been recorded in just two days but there's nothing hurried or loose about the musicianship and production. Augmenting the duo are an all-star band whose members have played with the likes of Ed Harcourt and John Gorka, while co-producer Bo Ramsey is well-known for his work with Greg Brown and Lucinda Williams. He's also Benson's dad, and his fluent fretwork is featured on six tracks. Huckfelt and Ramsey's voices harmonize nicely while being distinct enough to add variety (Huckfelt's drawl has a Dylan-esque feel). The sound is in the folk/country/Americana vein, though covers of Spider John Koerner and Mississippi John Hurt tunes reveal a blues influence. Superb stuff. (Red House)