Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, Thomm Jutz from the album Riverland available on Red Beet Records by Bryant Liggett
Riverland is a tribute album and history lesson delivered as a dose of laid-back roots music. The latest release from Eric Brace, Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz tips its hat to the great passages of water that have defined towns and inhabitants while the threesome serve up stories that paint a vivid picture of the past. Like a river, the album drifts along at its own pace, the listener’s role is to remain comfortable with the current and be satisfied with an open-ended destination. The album opener, “River City”, details the nomadic existence of those that work the river, dropping anchor to hit dry land for a night off the boat, repeating the same scene the next night miles downstream.
“Drowned and Washed Away” details the harsh reality of living river-side, “Old Tom T. And Brother Will” showcases great instrumentation in a moonshine tale. “To Be a Steamboat Man” and “Fort Defiance” hint at John Hartford and “Uneasy Does It” finds Peter Cooper’s soft vocal matched with ambient steel in a tune about ‘The Killer’. The album closer, “Mississippi Rest My Soul”, speaks to the longevity of the river; life and people move on, you can count on the river to remain in place. This is a trio where all three musicians and songwriters unselfishly give each other plenty of room. There is no frontman, every voice as important as the other with instrumentation placed with craft and care. Packaging is also important, as the liner notes for Riverland are loaded with informational tidbits and historical photos that bring text and visual accompaniment. (by Bryant Liggett)
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