A traditional genre can find its way in a time where artists are almost obsessed with combining different melodies and styles together. The key? Taking the best elements of such genres and upgrade it into new highs, in a way that it keeps the essence of such genre while at same time it adds new layers to it. I’ve reviewed some rock and rap artists that have embrace this as their main mission, some with great success and others don’t.
Tapestry of Shadows by Chicago based band Humphrey-McKeown is a great Americana Folk album. Every song is filled with on point vocal harmonies by the two lead that never falls flat. The addition of the Banjo and Violin helps taking the listener to the rural corners of America in songs like “Beautiful” and “Better Days”. The album then changes to a much sober, darker if you wish, mood on “You Don’t Know Me” where the bass lines throughout the record and later the other string additions, gives the song a great Jazzy vibe proving the band it ain’t a one pony trick group. In the following tracks the band pretty goes back to its initial roots though they add some other elements that makes each one unique with “Passing Shadows” kicking off with this amazing intro that immediately hook you up, it’s also the closest to a classic rock song on the record.
If you aren’t really into the Roots genre that much, then there’s a big chance you will not enjoy the album nor the band. As mentioned earlier, this is a band that doesn’t play too much game with its music. Again, in a period where music doesn’t feel that sonically pure as before, the band has directly (or indirectly?) become heralds of the traditional Americana and Folk sound. This isn’t your Hipster, The Lumineers or Mumford and Sons type of Folk music but rather in the lane of Hank Williams Jr and Avett Brothers. Though they do add a few good elements here and there that gives some modern spin into their sound, it still remains pure to its (no pun intended) roots.
Criteria - 90%
Overall, this has some potential to become a classic album. I can both see them wowing people in small Country bars to big stages. The vocal harmonies reached by Humphrey and McKeown on this record reminded me of those greatly made by Stevie and Lindsey in Fleetwood Mac. Definitely a must listen.