‘The Wreckage’ by Betty and The Boy - extensive genre-free musical scope(June 22, 2014)
There’s nothing better to hear the boundaries of Americana, folk, bluegrass, rock or anything else for that matter being pushed, transcended or even broken. And recently I’ve heard a few bands doing just that, and do it well - it’s so refreshing. Another such band is Betty and The Boy. With their album ‘The Wreckage’ they wander freely (and skilfully) across the extensive genre-free scope of their music and lay it out there, devoid of classification for your experience, involvement and ultimately delight.
Betty and The Boy are Josh Harvey (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, organ) Bettreena Jaeger (vocals, guitar) Jon Conlon (upright bass) Michelle Whitlock (violin) and Nancine McDonald (cello, spoons, backing vocals). Through a wave of tantalising, ethereal-edged vocals, sonorous violin and resonating cello cuts their absorbing song writing, rich with arresting narratives, carves a distinct course. And should you decide to join them, you’ll find yourself walking down paths less-trodden but taking routes well worth the journey.
Everything on this album comes with an invigorating edge – the explorative title track ‘The Wreckage’ takes you into their inimitable style, then leads you through more gentle tones with ‘The Waltz’, the intriguing cello and violin essence of ‘Building It Up’ with its catching melody to the punch and vigour of ‘Silos & Smokestacks’. And so to my favourite track - the languorous and somnolent ‘Higher Ground’.
Reviewer: Tom Franks