Friday, July 27, 2007

Meg Baird / Helena Espvall / Sharron Kraus

"Leaves From Off The Tree" 2006

Charles Franklin:
"Leaves From Off the Tree" is an intensely beautiful album of traditional folk songs performed by three women who show a clear love for the material which they are interpreting. There are a couple things that really make this collection stand out for me: the careful selection of the pieces which were recorded, and the sweet, minimal quality of their performances. I'm not exaggerating when I say that some of the melodies on this disk stand out as being some of the most beautiful I've ever heard. Tracks like "Bruton Town", and "Westlin' Winds" put me on the verge of tears with ease. I am reminded of another great interpreter of folk songs, Shirly Collins. Baird, Espvall, and Kraus seem to be treading similar territory in their choice of songs with occasional darker undertones. Usually the lyrics sweep by so sweetly that I don't have a chance to notice the strange or sad qualities of the stories that are being told, but closer attention is rewarded as the stories of these songs unfold and stick in your memory long after the album is over.

"Leaves From Off the Tree" isn't entirely perfect however; my main complaint being the acapella pieces, which seem to drag on and overstay their welcome. Honestly, I find myself skipping over these tracks on repeated listenings. The rest of the tracks more than make up for any shortcomings, and as a whole this is an outstanding album, and a joy to listen to.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks fantastic . .thanks

28 July, 2007 03:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a great one!! helena espvall has some great solo albums as well... in a rather different vein, though. more noise-improv, though there is still a slight folk feel to some bits.

29 July, 2007 03:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course this disc is still in print and easy enough to obtain.
If you like it then buy it

31 July, 2007 12:03  
Blogger Stevo said...

Bizarre that. I just bought this cd from Sharon Kraus tonight. I was just scrolling through the site thinking, damn I wish I'd asked her what she thought of the site when I saw this. Could hardly believe my eyes at first.
Haven't looked at the site in a few days, longer than I'd normally left it.

01 August, 2007 08:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lizardson - I'm anxious to try this one out. Thanks for all your work, it is appreciated!
Peace - Jackson

01 August, 2007 09:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Probably my favorite in months!!

I am definitely buying this one, which will make 7 that I have purchased after hearing the artist on THTM. In case anyone wonders...yes some of us do support the artists.

02 August, 2007 10:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baird & Espvall also play in a band called Espers, out of Philadelphia. They're quite good...the indigo offspring of Fairport & Floyd. They've got 3 albums as Espers, all excellent and worth buying. Great live, too. It's great to hear young bands keeping the flame lit.

07 August, 2007 08:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Downloads dead!!!

26 October, 2007 00:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Downloads dead!!!

26 October, 2007 00:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reaupload pleeeease :)

30 October, 2007 04:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please reupload :) pleeease!

30 October, 2007 04:55  
Blogger NETR said...

Please reupload!

27 November, 2007 02:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're that desperate for a copy, you can buy it from the small, independent shoestring operation that released it, Bo'Weavil Records. That way, Bo'Weavil get to make a bit of money so they can keep putting great albums like this out and Sharron Kraus and co will get to earn some royalties. For those who argue that all this sort of blogging is is a 'try before you buy' service, there are plenty of places - such as the artists' websites and myspace pages where you can listen first. Unless we support these independent artists and labels by paying for their work, they won't be able to keep doing it. Then we all lose out. It's one thing to download long deleted unavailable albums. It's quite another to steal a current artist's livelihood. Harsh, I know, but that's how it is. Or do you figure that as long as mugs like me keep paying for my music, you can keep getting it for free and screw the consequences?

27 January, 2008 20:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading that comment, i went to the said shoestring operation website, listened to the samples on there and truly couldnt get enough of it. I bought it immidiately. Although this blog is very good, as are many others like it, but it is indeed difficult to justify downloading some albums...

17 August, 2008 07:36  
Blogger treholt said...

Link dead, album out of print, this is really sad.

30 December, 2009 05:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Album is available again-

01 August, 2010 08:12  

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