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A canvas with multi-hued images,
This review is from: Seed of a Pine (MP3 Music)
Singer/songwriters Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer have a knack for capturing the passionate beauty of original contemporary folk music. Evoking a sense of tranquility and reflection, their frank lyrics and life-affirming tales are woven around melodic lines that hold the fabric together. The set alternates with McGraw and Fer compositions, and this debut collaboration is a perfect showcase for their impressionistic songs. Drawn by 8-year-old Zia Kypta-Keith and inspired by the song "Seed of a Pine," the watercolor that graces the album's cover and jacket is indicative of the duo's intriguing music. In fact, we also hear several references to colors in the stories they tell - purple sage, golden grey, angels dressed in blue, forests blooming green, streets painted in gold. Fer's "Forget the Diamonds" reminds us that "behind the curtain there are colors you won't believe exist." McGraw's "Comin' Down" expresses "that dusk in mountain colors fades from blue to red to black, you glance over your sore shoulder, it's too dark now to turn back." While their music emphasizes earth tones, they also occasionally invoke dreamlike pictures with vibrant colors and shades.
Both are also guitarists, and Fer also lays piano, Wurlitzer, bells and tambourine into the mix on a few pieces. Instrumental support comes from Andrew Lauher (drums), Christopher Merrill (bass), Allison Russell (banjo), Nora Barton (cello), Peter Mulvey (electric guitar on one cut), Jared Rabin (violin), and Benny Sidelinger (Dobro). Russell, Mulvey and Jeremy "JT Nero" Lindsay also provide some vocal harmonies on a few cuts.
And "So Comes the Day" with their touching music, and like the monsoons that "turn everything green from dusty dirt brown," McGraw and Fer paint their canvas with multi-hued images. May their music be heard. (Joe Ross, Sun209: The Americana Music Journal)