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City of Refuge [Digipak]
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Rating
Album: City of Refuge [Digipak]
# Song Title   Time
1)    Karen Kane
2)    Housewife's Lament, A
3)    Old Time Religion/Working on a Building
4)    Truman
5)    Carver
6)    Clearcut, The
7)    Angel Boy
8)    Ode to Billie Joe
9)    I Don't Want to Get Adjusted to This World
10)    Under the Big Top
 
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Rachel Harrington (vocals, guitar, banjo); Zak Borden (guitar, banjo, mandolin, background vocals); Mike Grigoni (pedal steel guitar, dobro); Tim O'Brien (fiddle, background vocals); Dayan Kai (clarinet); Jon Hamar (acoustic bass, upright bass); Holly Figueroa O'Reilly, Pieta Brown (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: David Ferguson .
  • Arranger: Rachel Harrington.
  • The cover of Rachel Harrington's second full-length album (following 2007's The Bootlegger's Daughter and her 2004 EP of demos, Halloween Leaves) is a sepia-toned photograph depicting a field on which a circus is being erected; it's a picture that could date from the mid-19th century. Harrington's music also often sounds like it could date from the 1850s, or at least as far back as the 1930s, anyway. Accompanied by bluegrass instrumentation -- fiddle, dobro, mandolin -- she sings in a rough-hewn country voice songs with a rural setting that touch on love and death. Some are traditional (the medley "Old Time Religion"/"Working on a Building," "I Don't Want to Get Adjusted to This World"), some original, but the old-timey feel remains constant. The playing is stellar, and Harrington convincingly re-creates the sound of a mountain singer. The inclusion of Bobbie Gentry's hit "Ode to Billie Joe" is appropriate, but it would be more effective if Harrington hadn't lopped off the last verse of the song and if she were aware of how Gentry spelled her first name and the name of her title character (with "ie," not "y"). ~ William Ruhlmann
Professional Reviews
Mojo (Publisher) (p.115) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "This Oregonian's second album is stuffed with characters from the old West....Beguiling."
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