If you’re going to record an album of old folk songs, you might as well go whole hog and record it as old-school as possible. Set up a tape machine in a garage on a sunny afternoon, stick a mic on the floor, gather round with acoustic guitars and sing. No overdubs allowed.
That’s what Daniel Romano of Attack in Black, Fred Squire of Calm Down, It’s Monday and Julie Doiron did over a few days last summer, and it worked out beautifully, highlighting the trio’s arrangement and three-part-harmony abilities as well as Squire and Romano’s deft guitar playing.
The close harmonies – particularly Doiron’s untamed, reedy soprano – on Hallelujah, I’m A Bum evoke the Carter Family, while Romano’s two powerful originals prove that the trio need not depend so heavily on public-domain tunes next time around.
Top track: Hallelujah, I’m A Bum