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4th full length from the Black Twigs finds a slightly reshuffled lineup and a renewed emphasis on kicking out raw, percussive takes on both Appalachian traditional and original material. With Ralph Berrier Jr.â€™s retirement from the group, Mike Gangloff has added fiddle to his already considerable arsenal, and along with stalwart guitarist Isak Howell, brought in Nathan Bowles (Spiral Joy Band) on percussion and several guests who make substantial contributions to the party. The Twigs work the fine line between the Friday night old-time dance party and the wellspring of grim and evocative tragedy that runs through the tradition, delivering these laments, travelogues, and wild whoops with sawing, rocking joy. This is a sprawling collection, with visceral group takes on â€œCrossing the James,â€ â€œCherry River Line,â€ and â€œOld Joe Clark.â€ Charlie Parr and Lane Prekker join the crew on â€œLast Kind Word Blues,â€ â€œTrain 45â€ and â€œTwin Sistersâ€ (first essayed by Pelt way back in '98 (Ed. note: the recording on "For Michael Hannahs" was Mike and Ivanhoe fiddler Coolidge Winesett)) with Parrâ€™s amazing, ragged voice leading the charge over Bowles and Prekkerâ€™s driving percussion. Along with the full group material, the Twigs throw in other welcome oddities such as Howellâ€™s Fahey-like â€œAt the head of Every Creek,â€ â€œP.E.A. Vine Blues,â€ an arrangement of a tune from Portuguese Africa, and a book ending solo version of â€œCrossing the James,â€ with Gangloff on baritone banjo.
Crossing the James, Rattletrap, Cherry River Line, Last Kind Word Blues, Glory in the Meeting House, At the Head of Every Creek, Stay All Night, Boatsman, Paint Bank, Walking in the Parlor, Callahan, Train 45, Never Miss Your Mama, Twin Sisters, Sally Coming Through the Rye, Old-time Fire on the Mountain, Old Joe Clark, Old Joe Bone, Frosty Morning, P.E.A. Vine Blues, Crossing the James