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By Your Side

 

CD: By Your Side

Artist: Brograss

Label: Crozier Farm

Artist Website: http://www.brograssmusic.com

Songs:

  1. Sunday Morning
  2. Fortunate Son
  3. Powderfinger
  4. Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right
  5. Standing By Your Side
  6. Lay Down Your Weary Tune
  7. Mockingbird
  8. The Cypress Hills
  9. Turn Your Radio On
  10. Hard Steel Mill
  11. Road To Columbus
  12. Saint John’s Train
  13. Don’t Give Your Heart To A Rambler

 

By Your Side, by Brograss (brothers Tashi and Kaj Litch), just kept turning up on top of my CD stack in spite of having set it aside several times. It apparently turned up the right number of times for me to pop it in the CD player. I had to warm up to this CD, but my motor is still running. The more I listened, the more I liked its sibling harmony, fresh interpretations of cover songs, and young voices on the edge of maturity. Beautiful octave mandolinic musings from Pacific Northwest old-time powerhouse entertainer Caleb Klauder didn’t hurt, either. If this is the way young acoustic musicians sound in the Pacific Northwest, I’m ready for some more.

This is folk/Americana/Bluegrass(y) music. Favorites songs are John Fogerty’s Fortunate Son; Neil Young’s Powderfinger; Lay Down Your Weary Tune, a Dylan song rarely heard; Turn Your Radio On; Hard Steel Mill; and a rousing rendition Kenny Baker’s Road to Columbus. The brothers do an admirable duet cover of Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, injecting some chutzpah and keeping it away from the assignation of tedious, freshened by their remarkable harmonies. Don’t Think Twice is a fun song for live, but hard to pull off on an album. Salute!

The songs run from poignant, soulful, reflective, inspirational, and just plain fun. All in all, it enjoyable from start to finish, which leaves me wondering why I had to warm up to it. Sometimes its the albums you have to warm up to that stick with you. I think this one stuck.

The aforementioned Caleb Klauder shared a producer credit along with the Litch brothers. The CD was recorded and mixed by Henri Bredouw. Mastering was done by Nettleingham Audio, all of whom, in my opinion, did a fine job. I mention this because some CDs, unlike this one, are simply not pleasant to listen to.

I’d like to hear the Litch Brothers and the full Brograss lineup live sometime. Until then, I’ll keep By Your Side by my side. Having warmed up to it, I’ve been warmed by it.

Mississippi Chris Sharp