Clare recently introduced me to this terrific folk group, and their album Shaken By A Low Sound is my current favorite music. They can be described very broadly as bluegrass, but with a twist, and their repertoire includes very un-bluegrass folk material such as Robert Johnson’s “Come On In My Kitchen.” The singer sounds somewhat like Allison Krauss—she has a relatively soft, unstrained, breathy voice, not traditionally country at all, but very beautiful and expressive. The instrumentation includes a cello—and on this album at least, no guitar. They don’t really venture all that far from traditional folk styles, but yet their approach is strikingly distinctive. Here is a live performance of a song from Shaken By A Low Sound, “Ain’t No Grave”:
Aside from her marvelous singing, I love the singer’s unpretentious and down-to-earth stage manner. There are a number of live clips on YouTube, and it appears that dressing oddly was a constant with the cellist. Clare tells me he has now left the band, which must have been a great loss, but they are continuing. You can hear samples from the album here. They have one or two others that I haven’t heard. I find it hard to imagine anyone who likes American folk music not being really taken with this.