The Saturday Saints Hand-Me-Downs

An aptly titled collection of traditional tunes culled not from songbooks or recordings but musical oration, Hand-Me-Downs is the debut full-length for the Saturday Saints, a Toronto, ON-based folk duo formed under innocent circumstances. Meeting at an ongoing bluegrass/folk jam, Kristin Cavoukian and Danny Simmons have pulled together a collection of fetchingly lilting songs with inspiring, updated arrangements focusing on their mingling of resonating voices, guitar and banjo. While the recording is rounded out via guests performing requisite instruments, including bass, fiddle, mandolin and dobro, such expansion is welcomed, but clearly unnecessary. The duo are beyond capable, with their lush articulation and complementary musicianship. Still, this acoustic support bolsters wonderfully creative takes on well-worn gems, adding the proverbial icing to an already-rich cake. From the intertwining of subtle twang and bouncy drive on opener "Moonshiner" through "Cold Rain And Snow," with its bleak desolation, and the haunting harmonies of "The Blackest Crow," this fresh-faced duo have crafted an inspiringly sublime and enduring affair. (Independent)