The Suitcase Junket — the alter ego of Amherst, MA’s Matt Lorenz — just released his third full-length record, Make Time. Junket by definition is “to entertain; feast; regale.” Entertain, check that, Lorenz has it covered. The throat singing, slide guitar destroying, salvaged and repurposed “trash” turned percussive instrument inventor, Lorenz is a genuine throwback. He appears as if he could be Woody Guthrie’s sidekick, can write songs that gently stream through folk-rock and blues, that meander through rarely traveled valleys of poignant pop-ish punk… then there’s the throat singing.
Though usually classified as a bluegrass trio, Blue Moon Rising are the kind of bluegrass group with a contemporary slant that will also find some favor among fans of creative country music and No Depression-type alt-country-folk. One Lonely Shadow is divided between group originals and outside material, some of which isn’t often associated with the bluegrass repertoire, like Townes Van Zandt’s “Marie” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Youngstown.” Embellished by eight other musicians and singers over the course of the CD, the trio members sing tastefully and play tightly within uncluttered arrangements highlighting the harmony vocals of Keith Garrett and Chris West.
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