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Cup O’Joe (from the album Why Love Without available as a self-release) (by Bryant Liggett)
Cup O’Joe is a band that will pull at heart-strings with a soft Folk cut, then stir up a festival field with a Bluegrass ripper. That’s the mode on Why Live Without, the Northern Ireland quartet’s latest effort where they’ll drop an old-world ballad just before they give you a swift kick in the behind with a flash-fire instrumental that nods to the past of Bill Monroe and the present of any Berklee School of Music-trained, acoustic instrument strapped wizard.
There’s the soft intro of a banjo followed by quiet harmonies that begin album opener “Hope”, a cut that showcases the wonders that will follow. Those delights come in the Folkie “Weathered and Worn” and “Wanna Go”, two more cuts that offer up hushed harmonies and instrumentation. It’s a perfect introduction, and quite the contrast to the musical exploration heard in “Azazel’s Escape”, where instrumental virtuosity is on display while they band also proves they can chug at full speed and stop on a dime. “Hard Life” is textbook NuGrass, “Be True to You” is textbook traditional Bluegrass. Cup O’Joe close with the beautifully gentle “The Old Churchyard”.
This is an easy going listen, a gentle Folk and Bluegrass album that roars when it wants, while also delivering airy, soft quiet Folk music. Why Live Without is loaded with slick playing, a record where a mastery of the strings is worthy of the word ‘wow’. (by Bryant Liggett)
Listen and buy the music of Cup O’Joe from Bandcamp
Please visit the Cup O’Joe website for more information
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