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Monday, May 10, 2010

Dark Wood, Dark Water - The Lake and The Lion

The first time The McLovins journeyed north to Keene State, was last November and that's where they met George Barber. George is the front man and guiding force behind The Lake And The Lion. George is equal parts troubador and classic folk vocalist; a very charismatic and talented musician. The Lake and The Lion were the opening act for the band's appearance at Keene, and brought a nice fan-base with them. George was very gracious, really enthusiastic and hung around for most of The McLovin's set. I was really impressed by The Lake and The Lion's set and included a quick review here. Flash forward now to SolarFest 2010 and up popped George Barber again. He was playing between band sets at the festival with his other band Elm City Orchestra. I managed to talk to him for a couple minutes and he told me that The Lake And The Lion had a new ep out. I bought the download and finally got around to listening to it this weekend, so I feel the need to talk about it.

Dark Wood, Dark Water is a fantastic collection of roots rock / folk based music that is both lyrical and haunting. I had heard Tulsa Burmah, All You Ever, Highest Hopes and 11/11 during their November live show, a couple of these were solo acoustic performances, but the studio versions of these are a revelation. The songs on the album all share a stark musical beauty, a slowly building rhythm. There is an overall theme that is lyrically redemptive, this is not cookie-cutter folk rock. There is a uniquely New England sound to this collection, a stark coolness but with sunny promise. This fits squarely with much of the new folk revival, I can hear echoes of The Low Anthem and a whisper of Lovely Feathers or The Swell Season, but this is a very original work, and The Lake And The Lion are a band with a message.

Do yourself a favor and check this out here. The album download is a bargain at $6.00, they also have each of the individual songs streaming so you can check them out for free. These songs will work their way into your head and settle in for the long haul, one listen and you'll be hooked.

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