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MP3 Gray Sky Girls - Gray Sky Girls

With a sound reminiscent of early country duos, these ladies play original and organic old-time influenced slowgrass. What is slowgrass? It''s bluegrass you can make out to, of course.

14 MP3 Songs in this album (46:28) !
Related styles: FOLK: Traditional Folk, COUNTRY: Bluegrass

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The Gray Sky Girls (Naomi Sommers and Lisa Bastoni) met in 2004 when a Somerville, Ma. punk rock dive decided to branch out and host a short-lived folksingers’ open mic. Discovering that they had much in common (love of traditional music, vegetable juice, oat bran, Bob Dylan, and having no middle names), they decided to form an old-time country “slowgrass” duo. The singer/songwriters are proponents of a simple, basic approach that emphasizes close vocal harmonies with organic, earthy perspectives. While singing in close harmony like a couple of mountain songbirds, their rustic instrumental work (on guitar, mandolin, banjo, flute) works fine to complement their folksy song selection. Their subtlety becomes their strength. The result is very personable and soothing music that is full of charisma. Traditional sensibilities draw on repertoire like Oh Susannah, Golden Slippers, Bury Me Beneath the Willow, You Are My Sunshine, and Shady Grove. Their melodic rendition of “Sylvie” is quiet and soothing, practically classifying as a lullaby.

On a more contemporary vein, the girls with a shared affinity for organic, dried mango also present three originals apiece. Whether singing emotionally-wrought sentiments (“Hard To Love You” and “Can’t Look Away”), a soldier’s nostalgic longing for home (“Just Like Home”), or about abandonment, uncertainty and insecurity (“Texas Rain”). The Gray Sky Girls have a knack for songcrafting in a concise, straightforward, understandable style. For example, Lisa Bastoni’s “Daisy” paints a vivid portrait of carefree happiness with a greasy-haired spring wildflower in overalls. Naomi Sommers’ “Alaska” is a comforting tale of wanderlust that also captures the duo’s pioneering spirit. I’d like to hear more songs about the characters they meet on their itinerant journeys, playing at folk festivals, coffeehouses, or busking in subways. Or perhaps even a song about the lonesome, swooping swallows that they brought home on their forearms from a Kansas tattoo parlor.

Both Lisa and Naomi have released previous albums, and their self-titled debut album is on Phil Rosenthal’s American Melody label. Both have been recognized as up-and-coming folk artists. Naomi is a 2004 Kerrville, Tx. Folk Festival New Folk finalist, and Lisa was featured in the 2002 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase. The Gray Sky Girls toured the midwest for two weeks in 2006, and they are now planning a west coast in early 2007. Groups don''t need a lot of hot, flashy licks to build a signature sound, become highly sought after, and build a legion of fans. In harmony with nature, the Gray Sky Girls’ heartening music is very inviting for audience participation too. Their youthful exuberance and boundless enthusiasm will take them far.
(Joe Ross)

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