Freakwater - Scheherazade (Bloodshot Records, 2016)
Has it really been ten years since Freakwater floated down a record from on high [?], with the excitement of all this leaving me to ask, “Where has the time gone?” Here on Scheherazade the girls melodic plaintive drifting country meanderings shimmer though the speakers of my car’s stereo on a moonlit night as if my tuner has somehow time-shifted, picking up a 15 watt boarder radio station from more years ago than I care to remember.
Freakwater have always made very private music, music to be played when you’re alone, or on the road, when you’ve got the time to let their songs slip into your soul, where their songs become a part of your being, where you’re face to face with yourself and your emotions, where the shirt you’re wearing is just the right one, and the Stetson hat on your head never fit better. It’s the kind of music that floats your legs across a gravel parking lot as you head into an all night stainless steel diner in the middle of nowhere, and the word darlin’ ever so naturally floats from your lips as you pass your order to the waitress.
The songs of Janet and Catherine Ann come at you softly and with an infectious jangling twang. Their voices and vocals are steady, yet as transparent as smoke. Their songs are delightfully ragged and even when over, never seem to be quite finished, as if there’s still a verse or two that have yet to be written. This is Americana at its very best, with artists decked out in snap-button embroidered shirts and weathered boots.
Review by Jenell Kesler/2016
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