Country Blues & Rags finds East Vancouver roots band The Burying Ground paying tribute to some of their musical heroes. Known for their down home style string band originals The Burying Ground follow up their debut Big City Blues with an EP of covers featuring many classics from the depression era American south.
Formed by Van City punks Woody Forster (Resophonic guitar and vocals) and Devora Laye (washboard, vocals, kazoo, and musical saw) from members of their old band The Dire Wolves, the main core of the band is filled out by upright bass player Joseph Lubinsky-Mast, while Trent Freeman (fiddle), and harmonica man Josh Doherty swell the ranks to a five piece for this recording.
Recorded in Laye’s living room as an homage to their early 19th century influences, Country Blues & Rags features some well executed songs by many country blues legends such as Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie’s Drunken Barrelhouse Blues, Blind Lemmon Jefferson’s Easy Rider Blues, and Charlie Poole’s Milwaukie Blues.
“We’re going in to record a new full length album of all originals very soon,” says Forster. “We recorded this EP all in one day. It was engineered by our good friend Mark Lawrence at The China Cloud studios. He’s always helping us out and making things happen for us.”
Forster’s rich and hearty voice certainly does justice to the material and the simple old timey string band approach sounds incredibly authentic and Laye’s contribution of clackity washboard shuffle and ethereal saw induced melodies really penetrate the music with a rough jugband feel that transports the listener back in time. Vancouver’s The Burying Ground prove to be excellent interpreters of an old form of rural music from an era when folks had to whip up a dance party with whatever instrumentation was available, and Country Blues & Rags would surely impress any and all followers of the form.
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