18 Jan 2022
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Tall Folk - EP Review: Live From Martin's

19 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Tall Folk are a relatively new band, only coming together at the end of last year and feature Dunedin singer/songwriter Lara Robertson and mid-Western import Jack Ringhand, with both providing lead and harmony vocals and acoustic guitar. It really is a coming together of styles as Lara is obviously more from the folk end of the spectrum, while Jack’s gravellier rasp is far more set in Americana.

The 3-track EP Live From Martin's was recorded in a Catlins’ bach with the assistance of Dunedin rocker Michael Morris, and I presume it was recorded live. The reason I say that is because there are some notes on guitar on opening song Dani which jar every time I listen to it, and I am not convinced it is deliberate, as to my ears they are at odds with the rest of the song.

It is quite a distraction for me, as everything else about this 14-minute set is simply delightful. I love Lara’s gentle breathy vocals, and when she takes lead, it is like a shining light. Jack’s vocals are a real contrast, and when he is in front it gives the music a totally different feel with more depth, gravitas, and hidden power. With just guitars for accompaniment, no percussion, and arrangements where often it is only one of them singing, which gives the harmonies more presence when they arrive, it is a set full of space.

This is music one can relax into and demands to be played on headphones to get full benefit. They have been touring the bottom of South Island, but I truly hope they have the opportunity to come up here as I am sure these are going to be great in a small club. Plus, anyone who enjoys poking humour at themselves has got to be fun. As they say, “Lara is from a long line of long legs. Jack is an extension of generations of long necks. Together, with their long limbs and swirling harmonies, they are Tall Folk.”

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Tall Folk

Lara is from a long line of long legs. Jack is an extension of generations of long necks. Together, with their long limbs and swirling harmonies, they are Tall Folk. As an US-American import, Jack brings song-writing and Midwestern twang hardened in Americana tradition. Lara softens and juxtaposes the raspy edges with warm, resonant harmonies established through years embedded in the Dunedin folk scene.

On June 25, 2021, they released their debut EP recorded in a Catlins’ bach with the assistance of Dunedin rocker Michael Morris, followed by a short tour of Otago and Southland. Keeping the wheels a-turnin’ on the rail, they aim to release their full length debut album recorded by Tom Bell (Marlin’s Dreaming) at the beloved Chick's Hotel in Port Chalmers on January 14, 2022.

From the comparatively upper stratospheres of human heights, Tall Folk write from a bird’s eye view of political and social turmoil, lined with remnants of the goodness that keeps us all moving. Think a Guthrie-inspired young Prine laced with the grace of Gillian Welch. Just a bit taller.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tall Folk

Releases

Live From Martin's
Year: 2021
Type: EP

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