Nick Ferrio- Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs review   1 comment

Catching up on spring releases…

FerrioNick Ferrio Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs

Headless Owl/Shuffling Feet

One never knows from where a favourite album will appear. We’ve all discovered desert island discs in thrift shop cardboard boxes, deep discount delete bins, friend’s back seats, and in a pal’s stereo. Sometimes they arrive in the mail.

That’s how Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs made itself known to me.

Nick Ferrio’s second album, following on Nick Ferrio & His Feelings from 2012 and with a new lineup of supporting musicians, provides a fractured reflection on love and relationships. Less obviously focused on capturing the particulars of classic country music, this new album magnifies their influence by utilizing devices—pedal steel, reverb, lyrical and instrumental truism—more concisely with greater acuity.

As strong as that initial recording may have been, Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsong is that much more satisfying, revealing Ferrio’s growth and maturity as a songwriter, vocalist, and bandleader. Most notably, he’s reined in the guitars and drumming, allowing the rhythm of his words and their phrasing to propel the passions contained within the songs.

He hasn’t entirely abandoned country sounds and influences: one listen to the album’s most immediately appealing track, “Come Hell or High Water,” demonstrates that. No, it is just a more subtle and perhaps more genuine application of the genre’s character. The result is a more spiritually connected, emotionally honest recording: last time out he was perhaps acting his Jason Ringenberg fantasy—now, he is creating smoldering rather than scorching music. “Fall in Love” lays things out clearly: “I’m trying to fall in love,” Ferrio claims. No avarice, no pretension.

Julie Doiron makes a pair of memorable vocal appearances in duet with Ferrio. The album’s only non-original is a stark interpretation of the Child ballad “The Hangman” (or “The Gallows Tree/Pole), ideal for late night listening. Where true love and devotion eventually prevail in this account of the ancient song, “Mirrorball Shine” is as intricate in its simple question—”does he love me….how will I know”—but its outcome is less assured—is love revealed through words or action—until its conclusion “You’ll be reunited in time, if he’s on your mind.” Utilizing a traditional structure, Ferrio crafts the album’s finest song.

Reminiscent in tone and timbre of the exceptional recordings made a few years back by Matthew Lovegrove as Woodland Telegraph, Nick Ferrio’s Among the Coyotes and Birdsongs is an astounding album. Recalling the shapes and sounds of nature, the songs gently flow through their environmental and sonic landscape to create an unforgettable journey of hope and discovery.

Thank you for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald


One response to “Nick Ferrio- Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs review

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  1. Pingback: Fiddle & Banjo review | Fervor Coulee- roots music opinion

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