Four men, in a room, acoustic guitar, stand up bass, banjo and fiddle, playing an Appalachian waltz, a lament to comfort the broken hearted… “She was linen and curls and Carolina soul, like a journey to England or Spain, whereupon...”
A time-worn tale of love rent asunder by war, but with a twist, rendered with easy tenderness by one Barton Carroll and his band of compadres, this is The Beech Mountain Waltz, a specially recorded live version of a track on Avery County, I’m Bound To You, Carroll’s new album, whose title avers the ties of country that keep this Seattle resident mainlined back to the North Carolina hills from whence he originally hails.
The album’s a beauty: respectful of tradition, but not enslaved to nostalgia, with Carroll’s kindly tenor voice an urbane presence amid the rootsy arrangements, where Hammond organ and accordion are harmoniously accommodated alongside the inimitable brushstrokes of Mudhoney’s Dan Peters on drums.
Timelessly transcendent, with a vibe of prime Lambchop or Mark Lanegan (whose recent Imitations set was also helmed by Carroll’s producer Martin Feveyear), Avery County, I’m Bound To You is out now on the Alabama label Skybucket, and here at MOJO we’re digging it mightily.
PHOTO: Dennis Wise