Freakwater mines a downtempo, Southern Gothic vibe that can chill you to the marrow, like that god-awful feeling you get in your bones when you know something's not quite right in the old chapel at the edge of town. Combining the dark lyricism of Flannery O'Connor's eeriest tales with the lonesome-highway lassitude of Woody Guthrie's final days and the backwoods twang of country 'n' bluegrass pioneers the Carter Family and the Stanley Brothers, the band's guitar-pickin' frontwomen, Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean, step right out of a dog-eared daguerreotype into the altcountry here-and-now. After a six-year hiatus and a couple of fine respective solo CDs, the ladies missed singing together so much that they had to reunite to record their sixth album, Thinking of You… , enlisting for the project regular bassist David Gay and a cast of kindred sidemen on a variety of instruments (including dobro, pedal steel guitar, saw, ukulele, and organ). It's a haunting reunion, rich with traditional chord changes, spine-tingling harmonies, and vivid lyrics (e.g., on “Hi Ho Silver”: “Use your hands and tell me how I feel”). Longtime fans and newcomers alike will revel in Freakwater's evocative homecoming.
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