Be Good Tanyas: A Collection (2000-2012)

Album cover art for upc 067003096027
Label: NETTWERK
Catalog: 06700309602
Format: CD

Old-timey Canadian alternative folk trio the Be Good Tanyas spent the turn of the 21st century crafting soulful, rustic tales of woe, wonder, happiness, and heartache in a style that was popular at the last turn of the century. Warm, spacious, wise, and often winsome, Frazey Ford, Trish Klein, and Samantha Parton, and for a time Joile Holland, operated in the same sepia-toned universe as artists like fellow Dust Bowl disciples Gillian Welch and Freakwater, recharging old classics and building new songs on a foundation of traditional folk, blues, bluegrass, Appalachian, gospel, and early Americana music. A Collection features 16 tracks from the Vancouver-based group, most of which are culled from their three well-received studio albums, Blue Horse (2000), Chinatown (2003), and Hello Love (2006). Whether they were reinterpreting the traditional ("Oh Susanna," "Rain and Snow," "In My Time of Dying") or applying a traditional base to a contemporary tale ("Junkie Song," "The Littlest Birds," "Dogsong aka Sleep Dog Lullaby"), the band's tight, effortless harmonies, understated arrangements, and inventive, highly competent musicianship reigned supreme, imbuing even the slightest tale with a considerable weight. The addition of four previously unreleased songs, two of which are remixes, and two brand-new cuts, "Little Black Bear" and "Gospel Song," the latter of which closes out this fine retrospective on a lovely high and lonesome note, will likely please fans who have been waiting patiently for new material since the group went on hiatus in 2007. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi

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