Artist: Blind Lemon Pledge
Album: Backwoods Glance
Genre(s): Americana, Folk, Country
Blind Lemon Pledge are back in action with Backwoods Glance, this time going for a more Americana sound. Songs about courting, heartbreak, hope, and despair are strewn through the album, making them accessible while at the same time providing an enriching musical experience.
|1. Polly Come Out|
|2. The Hills Of West Virginia|
|3. Sisters Of The Coal Dust|
|4. Moon Over Memphis|
|5. Lynchburg Town|
|7. Silver Wings|
|8. Sweet Celline|
|9. Carolina Kiss|
|11. Ma Belle Cherie|
|12. Give My Poor Heart Ease|
- Polly Come Out
The album opens with this laidback, carefree track that almost calls to you to do the same. The fiddle enjoys its own sweet reverie amidst lines that go on about asking a girl out, the old-fashioned way. A jolly little number, this is one with a lot of good-natured spirit.
- The Hills Of West Virginia
In stark contrast to the previous track, the eerie vocals in this one bring out a dark, almost mysterious vibe. The musical spectrum of the band shows in this low-key masterpiece composition. The abstract lines are a bonus add-on and you leave this track feeling a little stirred.
- Sisters Of The Coal Dust
Back to mellow times, and Sisters Of The Coal Dust reminds you of those old folk songs – which were almost a form of storytelling. This one in particular empathizes with the wives of men who work in dangerous mines and their everyday lives. The harmonica swaying along, this is a classic example of music bringing people together.
- Moon Over Memphis
Moving on, and a heart touching ballad hits you out of nowhere. Almost John Legend-like, the piano joining in makes all the difference and works magic along with the guitar. You feel the slightest hint of blues, and indeed you do.
- Lynchburg Town
Who doesn’t find it hard to make ends meet – that’s about Lynchburg Town is all about. A solid country number, this one works for the image of hope it paints – one from which many parallels can be drawn.
Continuing from the previous track, Blind Lemon Pledge go on about hope and despair, and Fayetteville marks a sombre point in the album. A little more desperate than Lynchburg Town, this earnest number carries a lot of yearning.
- Silver Wings
A little into Silver Wings, and you start hearing The Eagles. Some good ol’ country folk, this one’s as optimistic as it can get – a welcome arrival at this point. Lines like ‘Gonna soar on silver wings, over the city of angels’ work because of the bursting positivity after all the darkness. A slight dissonance in one of the interludes makes for an unfortunate distraction.
- Sweet Celline
The easy-going mood returns, the one that made Polly Come Out so enjoyable, and kudos to BLP for bringing out a discernible difference between the two. Getting into the adorable lover boy shoes yet again with the harmonica chugging along playfully, the chorus is particularly catchy with witty lyrics.
- Carolina Kiss
Back on the feels train, and this time, an Adele-like feeling grips you. Soulful and romantic, this piano ballad has its heart in the right place. The violin sounds beautiful coming out in the interlude and the lines weave a touching imagery. When BLP croons ‘Carolina Kiss‘, you can’t help but sigh.
A song about reminiscing, Sunset comes at a point in the album where you’re emotionally invested. A change of mind, simple as that, makes the track what it is. Vocal-driven and lyrically focussed, something about this one leaves you feeling bittersweet.
- Ma Belle Cherie
The wooing is back, this time in true-blue country style. Upbeat and flirty, the song delivery takes centre stage and carries the whole song. The zingy lyrics do their part to add to the overall flavour.
- Give My Poor Heart Ease
This slow ballad takes on a melancholic shade as the album comes to an end. The violin belting out the pathos hits the spot, acting as one of the song’s high points. A sincere composition can be heard behind the singing, and gives the song its heart.
Verdict: With Backwoods Glance, Blind Lemon Pledge have reasserted themselves in the blues-country space, while succeeding in spreading out to new avenues.
Picks of the album: The Hills Of West Virginia, Moon Over Memphis, Carolina Kiss