New York City-based folk/Americana outfit The Scooches releases their third long player, Lift You Up, an album merging elements of world folk, global Americana, New Orleans verve, and the panache of the 1920s.

Led by vocalist Betina Hershey and multi-instrumentalist Nick Russo, with Lift You Up, The Scooches, formerly known as Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches, call upon society and the human race to believe that we, collectively, can make a difference, a change for the better.

Encompassing a dozen tracks, Lift You Up begins with the title track, riding a reggae-dub groove topped by upbeat instrumentation and the velvety, optimistic vocals of Hershey.

Highlights on the album include “Stop This Climate Change,” a song urging a positive, communal response to the climate crisis. Travelling on psychedelic-laced Americana harmonics featuring gleaming guitar accents, creamy, delicate vocals, and rap-lite flows, the tune glides on layers of lysergic surfaces.

Tinted with Spanish flavours, “Open A Door” allows Hershey to strut her silky-smooth, lustrous voice. While “I Broke The Egg,” a break-up song, rolls out on twangy country savours, underlined by a delicious, plonking banjo.

A personal favourite because of its drifting, old-timey country motion, “Leavin’” conjures up memories of Patsy Cline, full of bluesy melancholy and nostalgia. The 1920s-inspired “What’s Meant To Last Will Late” brims with bouncy dynamics and tinny aromas.

The Scooches, photo by Aidan Grant
The Scooches, photo by Aidan Grant

Two versions of the traditional freedom song “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round” tie the album off. The first version merges jazz and gospel components into a boisterous confection, surging with gambolling movement. The second, a Gullah Geechee version, rides a drum-folk riddim topped by improvisational vocals from Miles Griffith, imbuing the song with ring shout oomph.

An eclectic melting pot of original music, The Scooches’ Lift You Up does just that – lifts listeners up with spiritually-flavoured folk music.

Lift You Up Track Listing:

1. Lift You Up
2. Let’s Grow Our Roots Deep And True
3. Stop This Climate Change
4. Open A Door
5. I Broke The Egg
6. Leavin’
7. What’s Meant to Last Will Last
8. Run
9. Spread Your Wings And Fly
10. Give It To Me Real
11. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round
12. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round – Gullah Geechee

Run Time: 44:37
Release Date: July 14, 2023
Record Label: On The Bol Records