The conceptual terrain of Buttermilk Brine, the new album from Farrow and the Peach Leaves, comes from the band’s inimitable home base – Nevada City, California – a locality defined by coal rollers, demi-cults, weed-growers, and down-and-outs.
Similar to The Band, Farrow and the Peach Leaves’ sound blends ingredients of Americana, blues, rock, and country into music at once retro and singular, and is highlighted by the distinctive, Leon Russell-like/Jagger-Esque voice of frontman Graham Farrow Knibb, a blown-out voice, embellished by twangy timbres, both free and taut.
The band got together in 2016 and comprises Graham Farrow Knibb (vocals), Zach Peach (drums), Leif Bonfils (bass), Keith Knibb (guitar), Justin Peach (guitar), and Hunter Jones (pedal steel, keyboards).
Buttermilk Brine encompasses nine tracks, beginning with “Adeline,” which rolls out on gleaming, drawling guitars riding a mid-tempo rhythm. Oozing alt-country flavours, the tune rambles, sort of wandering, along on creamy, shimmering tones as Knibb’s deliciously rhinal tones hold sway.
A personal favourite because of its down-home rural flow, “All Blue” features crying pedal steel surfaces merging with slide guitar savours, resulting in a lusciously seedy harmonic flow.
With its tangs of country swing, the title track elevates hillbilly to opulent heights, underscored by Knibb’s scrumptious, rustic-inflected voice and loose delivery.
And then there’s “Madrid Sky,” a song suffused by sumptuous, country elegance. Wistful and bathed in different melodic commerce, the tune features sensitive vocals travelling over suspended guitars and a graceful, sparkling piano.
Drenched in gritty blues savours, conjuring up hints of Joe Walsh/James Gang-like tinctures, “Hole In My Boot” simmers and boils with unctuous echoes.
Drifting and melancholic, “Done With It” undulates slowly on an organic melody, while Knibb’s haunting vocals imbue the lyrics with elegiac timbres.
Steeped in the preservative of rum and the charm of vocal simplicity mixed with complex arrangements, Buttermilk Brine seduces.
Buttermilk Brine Track Listing:
2. All Blue
3. When You Find It
4. Buttermilk Brine
5. Madrid Sky
6. Hole In My Boot
7. Done With It
8. Bell Rung
9. The River
Run Time: 37:51
Release Date: December 9, 2022
Record Label: Dream Cabin Sounds