The New River Boys – Candor (Independent)
Formed in a dormitory stairwell in 2009, Boone, North Carolina three-piece The New River Boys are steeped in the traditions of the mountain music of Appalachia. Aaron Simpson (mandolin), Everett Hardin (cello) and Andrew Jacobs (guitar) have molded a sound that is timeless, and best of all, all three provide superb harmony vocals. The one detail that does place “Candor” in a contemporary setting is its production, which sounds utterly modern, though it’s always sensitive to and supportive of the trio’s traditional roots.
The sublime “Brother, Brother” commences proceedings, and the playing is skilled – both mandolin and cello solo - and the vocals are passionate, precise and pretty much faultless. “Power People” is a call to arms and preceding single “Sail Away” is epic folk-rock storytelling in its purest form. Change the accents and it could have recorded by Fairport Convention in their ‘70s prime, and could just have easily found a home on various Decemberists records. “One of These Days” indicates they’re just as adept at turning their hand to lighter, poppier material, and Mumford fans should particularly take note. An altogether accomplished debut, and I’m sure I wont be the only one excited to hear what they come up with next.