The Twilite Broadcasters, The Trail Of Time
With the Winnipeg Folk Festival wrapping up this weekend, it was fitting coming home to The Twilite Broadcasters. A traditional roots duo from Asheville, North Carolina, these guys embody everything genuine about old-time country, folk and bluegrass. The band’s second album, Trail of Time, is composed of classic and traditional Americana tunes and Adam Tanner (mandolin, guitar, fiddle and vocals) and Mark Jacks (guitar and vocals) are here to school new and old listeners on how to play the country blues.
Opening with the Tanner original “North Buncombe Gallop” you get an idea of where their hearts lie. North Buncombe is a county in North Carolina that spans across many cities, so the track brings to mind The Broadcasters own journey, touring relentlessly through these back roads. Just like jazz musicians, these guys are master storytellers that get your imagination in overdrive.
The duo’s first interpretation is The Carter Family’s “Coal Miner Blues” and this track always kills me. Starting off with the line “Some blues are just blues, mine are the coal miner blues” well, what is the difference between the blues and coal miner blues? The response gets worse as the track goes on but ends with, “for my face will cave in, and my life I will lose”. Tanner and Jacks skillfully play around one another and their vocal harmonies go together like peanut butter and jelly – the perfect blend that transcends time.
Other highlights include The Louvin Brother’s ballads “I Can’t Keep You In Love With Me” and “Lorene” both capture the feeling of complete hopelessness. “Lorene” especially tugs at the heart, I picture a man at war pleading for a letter from his women “I hope your still waiting, but your last letter is way over due” then a beautiful, simple mandolin line sums up our character’s soul. It sounds like an album full of ballads, but no worries, the group pulls out some barn-burners including Bill Monroe’s “Land of Lincoln” and “The Fiddler’s Dream” – both are gloriously fun and rowdy instrumental numbers.
I could go on and on about The Twilite Broadcasters but the only way to get them is to hear it. The Trail of Time captures the spirit of just not America – but the heart and soul of the musical genre we so broadly call Country. (Shut Eye Records/Pete Knapp & Co)
Rating 4.5/5 Stars