House and Land is a North Carolina based duo whose guitar, fiddle and banjo abilities transform traditional folk forms from the familiar to the strikingly fresh. Their feminist interpretations of lyrics reflective of another time and attitude is both empowering and illustrative. Identifying with many songs’ message of close relationship with the land and principles of stewardship, the duo’s emotional connection is palpable in their hauntingly beautiful vocal harmonies. There is a reason these songs had and have deep resonance in rural communities which is made clear when delivered with such potency. Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Sarah Louise and fiddler/banjoist Sally Anne Morgan cull songs from Appalachia, the Ozarks, and the U.K. and imbue them with a sense of themselves through careful arrangements, varied instrumentation, and lyrical reinterpretations. Their gorgeous sophomore album Across The Field is a work of bold artistry, drawing connections between the traditional and psychedelic through dexterous improvisation and deep appreciation of the living culture of their songs.
A keen understanding of the traditional source material House and Land pulls from allows the duo the freedom to experiment. Instead of seeing old, even ancient material as limiting, they use the living songs as compositional canvases to paint rich new tapestries and tell modern versions of timeless stories. Polyrhythmic figures like those of Louise’s electric guitar on “Two Sisters” were shaped in part from Louise imitating patterns an oscillating modular synthesizer may produce. Subtle layering of additional instruments such as the glockenspiel and double tin whistle on “Blacksmith” or the lush reverb-laden recorder on “Ca The Yowes” breathes new character into each song. House and Land uses each of these nuances to highlight the kinship between folk traditions and psychedelic music, classical composition, and free musi....... więcej