Review Archive

‘Distant Lights’ from The Pine Hearts - this music is good for your health

(March 21, 2013)

The Pine Hearts drive out original breakneck American bluegrass influenced, rock-tinged folk that Pine Heartsshould come with a health warning: ‘Warning: this music is good for your health!’  Their album ‘Distant Lights’ is an inspiring collection of songs that slide easily from energetic foot-stomping  to relaxed reflection – each one packed with first-rate picking on guitar, banjo and mandolin, together with finely-matched voices.

The trio that is The Pine Hearts, Joe Capoccia (guitar, vocals) Lob Strilla (banjo, vocals) and Derek McSwain (mandolin, vocals) blend pure-blood Americana and tasty bluegrass licks with a distinctive rocky edge to create their distinctive sound. And on the way they’ve produced a remedy for whatever ails you (hence the health warning) because this sort of music can’t help but lift your mood.

From the first notes and lively melody of ‘Don’t Let the Stars Bring You Down’ and ‘Paralyzed by Fate’ you’re immediately lifted, on through the frenetic-yet-dextrous finger-work of ‘On Our Own’ to the contemplative narrative of ‘Alright Fine’ and the tough love of ‘Virginia’ complete with its razor-sharp harmonies, there’s a journey to take through their music and believe me the trip is well worthwhile.

‘Distant Lights’ offers seven Capoccia originals, three from Strilla and one ‘trad’ instrumental.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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