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Friday, July 15, 2011

16 Horsepower -- Folklore

8/10David Eugene Edwards and company put out another theatrical, atmospheric release. Nine years ago I strugled through this album several times as a passive listener, however, for this review I sat down with headphones, and the album opened into an expansive, inescapable landscape. While heavily indebted to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, 16 Horsepower add a unique alternative country and western feel to their work that makes the solid black album cover all the more fitting. Edwards' lyrics and delivery also give an authenticity often lacking in a genre populated by middle-class city-folk attempting to look edgy. When he sings that he shot all those men over a horse, I will certainly be the last to doubt him, much less his later pleas for grace. Folklore isn't all blood and bullets, however. "Single Girl" is a rousing, feet-stomping cover of The Carter Family original, and "La Robe a Parasol" makes me want to head back home to Cajun country.

2002 Jetset Records
1. "Hutterite Mile" 4:04
2. "Outlaw Song" (Traditional) 4:29
3. "Blessed Persistence" 4:06
4. "Alone and Forsaken" (Hank Williams) 2:49
5. "Single Girl" (The Carter Family) 2:35
6. "Beyond the Pale" 3:45
7. "Horse Head Fiddle" (Traditional) 4:50
8. "Sinnerman" (Traditional) 4:15
9. "Flutter" 4:04
10. "La Robe a Parasol" (Traditional) 2:14

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