With the recent resurgence in nu-folk (Sufjan Stevens, Devendra Banhart), alt-folk (Iron and Wine) and anti-folk (David Cronenbergâ€™s Wife), youâ€™d think that all corners of the market were saturated. That is, until someone like Jack Rose comes along, his weather-beaten songs standing testament to how life really is down in the grim and gritty folk trenches, with his tour of duty consisting of many moons spent trawling the underground. The Black Twig Pickers clearly mean business, incorporating elements of bluegrass and country into songs that are resolutely not twee, but salt-of-the-earth earnest (thatâ€™s earnest borne out of blood sweat and tears, rather than some marketable commodity). The album seesaws between breakneck speed instrumentals to more contemporary folk tracks, sung by a man who sounds like he was breastfed on Jack Daniels; probably an album then, to soundtrack you drinking your sorrows away, instead of encouraging you to moan about them.
-- Ewen Millar