Quick plays: REBECCA PRONSKY, ROD MELANCON

REBECCA PRONSKY  Known Objects

REBECCA PRONSKY  Known Objects
Acme Hall Studios [Release date 10.06.16]

New York singer songwriter Rebecca Pronsky’s last release Only Daughter made The Telegraph’s Top Ten Country albums of 2013.  If anything, the follow up is an even more alluring affair.

Originally planned as a just voice and guitars set, but her long-time producer and guitarist Rich Bennet couldn’t resist the temptation of asking musicians passing through the studio to try out parts on Pronsky’s new songs.  The result is an intriguing blend of folk, country, jazz and alternative influences, with a more laid back and rootsy vibe.

The centrepiece is Pronsky’s ethereal vocals  delivered very much in a Nanci Griffith style and there’s a number of highlights – ‘Bag Of Bones’  a scratchy acoustic number that brings Jimmy Page to mind circa Zep IV opens proceedings with some exceptional vocals, and ‘Gondwanaland’  a beautiful shimmering number.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

ROD MELANCON LA 14 EP
Blue Elan Records [Release date 17.06.16]

With artwork adorned with red, white and blue, it’s easy to recognise Rod Melancon’s true colours.

The Louisiana singer-songwriter’s debut album, My Family Name, mined classic country music and his second Parish Lines explored the alt-country and blues-rock boundaries.  With former Dwight Yokam guitarist Brian Wheeler in the production chair LA 14 pushes further at the boundaries.

Yes, it is a largely country set, but there are a couple of surprises – ‘Perry’, an infectious Springsteen style number with a huge synth beat, and bluesy Edge influenced guitar lines, and ‘Lights Of Carencro’ which opens with deconstructed Voodoo Child guitar lines  which morph into a huge U2 ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’-style tale.

Those moments aside, you’d need to be a country fan to appreciate Melancon’s wares.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley


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