Our Monday exclusive this week is a whole gosh-darned album – and a treat for fans of raw, rootsy Americana
This week’s Monday exclusive isn’t a single, a video or even an EP – it’s an entire album. More specifically, it’s the second album by the Seattle-based duo of Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, The North Wind And The Sun.
Describing themselves as “roots/blues/folk storytellers,” Ben (vocals, fiddle, mandolin, kazoo) and Joe (vocals, banjo, guitar, harmonica) met in 2012 as fellow members of bluegrass group The Renegade Stringband. Discovering a shared love of early American music, they branched out as a duo while simultaneously setting up the educational Rhapsody Project, which aims to keep the flame of such music burning. Their debut album Take Yo Time was released in 2014, and now its follow-up is being heard for the very first time right here, right now.
Joe says of the album: “The North Wind And The Sun is an album based on an old fable about using persuasion instead of force to achieve one’s goals. This album presents a range of the troubles and problems that we see hurting our country. Later this year, our follow-up album will present solutions to these problems.
“We have honed these interpretations and arrangements for the past two years as we’ve travelled across the United States performing, teaching and interviewing transmitters of American folklore. All of our work – including this album and our forthcoming documentary film – is aimed at spurring a revival of the traditions that our country has sadly let fall by the wayside. This music encourages you to face the realities of our past and then address them by working to improve our future.”
The hype sheet recommends this one for fans of Duke Ellington, Soggy Bottom Boys or Gus Cannon & His Jug Stompers, but as ever, you can see what you think for yourselves…