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Cowboys In Cyberspace - CD Review

CHINATOWN - The Be Good Tanyas

CD cover Three girls, mountain harmonies, guitar, banjo and mandolin; yes I know what you are thinking, but we are a lot further north than Dixie here folks.
The Be Good Tanyas are a Vancouver-based trio who mix old-time country and blues, folk, bluegrass, and gospel into a seductive relaxed sound that is winning them accolades around the globe. Not that their themes are always as sweet as their sound, mind you. Their own songs explore the tough side of life as does their choice of traditional songs to cover on the album. In My Time Of Dying sounded a lot different the last time we heard it - Robert Plant's banshee wail on top of the might of Led Zeppelin - but the mournful yet joyous sound of a pilgrim making peace with The Maker remains intact. Death is no stranger on this album, especially in Samantha Parton's touching burial song that befits the passing of any loved one, even though its title dogsong2 reveals its true inspiration.
Frazey Ford, Samantha Parton and Trish Klein haven't allowed their delicate acoustic sounds to become overburdened with other instruments. There are however, plenty of gentle cameo appearances by other musicians, notably Olu Dara's cornet on two tracks and Aaron Chapman playing the saw amongst the string ensemble on the aforementioned dogsong2. Overall the rootsy ambience coupled with the sleepy, honeyed vocals make a hypnotic blend that entices you more with every subsequent listening.

EMI Australia 7243 5 83863 2 5

- Bob Howe

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