Ollabelle Riverside Battle Songs

As on their self-titled debut, the quintet co-fronted by Levon Helm’s daughter Amy, again delve deep into gospel to create a stirring update of the Band’s classic Americana. However, new producer Larry Campbell brings the slightly spookier vibe he picked up after several years in Bob Dylan’s band and helped to conjure in the studio on Love and Theft. This makes Riverside Battle Songs glow like a bonfire on a cold autumn night, as well as provide an added depth that most seekers of the Band’s magic never seem to capture. Of course, much of that hinges on the interplay of Ollabelle themselves, and both their musicianship and multi-layered harmonies are flawless. Highlights are Helm’s vocal partner Fiona McBain’s Sandy Denny-like turn on "Dream the Fall,” and the inventive arrangements of the traditional "Troubles Of This World” and "Riverside.” Kudos must also be given to keyboardist and Winnipeg native Glenn Patscha for his exemplary work throughout. Few bands at the moment seem to taken such an honest approach as Ollabelle, and thankfully Riverside Battle Songs shows that they have the ability to sustain it for a long time to come. (Universal)