Photo Credit Jeff Fasano.
A few years ago I discovered Garrison Starr‘s music: at that time, a polished and pleasing Nashville country rock that was just far enough outside the current of mainstream country to make me buy a couple tracks and crank it up. Haven’t heard much since until now, with the release of a duo collaboration between herself and Josh Joplin. The result is a very nice collection of modernized traditional American ballads and original songs they call “Among the Oak & Ash” (on Verve Forecast).
“I think that this music has been held onto rather preciously by a lot of the people who’ve revived it,” Joplin observes in their press kit. “But if you look back on the people who originally created this music, they weren’t purists, they were just expressing themselves with the tools that were available to them at the time. That’s what we wanted to do: to be faithful to the songs without treating them like museum pieces. One of the things that made me want to work with Garrison was her urgency and irreverence, and I think that those qualities played a big part in how the performances turned out.”
“A lot of people think of folk music as something that’s sweet and gentle, but so many of these songs are raunchy and brutal,” Joplin notes. “They cover everything from God to the devil, from unrequited love to murder.”
LISTEN: Joseph Hillstrom 1879-1915
LISTEN:The Housewife’s Lament
Bonus Video (Verve Forecast EPK)