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Cahalen Morrison & Eli West — I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands [2014]

 Cahalen Morrison & Eli West — I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands [February 4, 2014]

USA Flag Cahalen Morrison & Eli West — I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands
≡   Cahalen and Eli make music with the hands of master craftsmen wise beyond their years. They make music that’s informed by the roots of American music, whether country, bluegrass, old-time, or blues, but also music that touches deeper than the tradition.
Location: Seattle, Washington
Album release: February 4, 2014
Record Label: Cahalen Morrison & Eli West
Duration:     50:04   
01. Fiddlehead Fern       3:30
02. Livin' In America       2:37
03. Pocket Full Of Dust       4:07
04. Anxious Rows       3:25
05. James Is Out       3:28
06. Natural Thing To Do       4:01
07. Down In The Lonesome Draw       4:37
08. Ritzville / Steamboats On The Saskatchewan       4:38
09. Off The Chama       4:06
10. Lorene       2:36
11. Green Pastures       3:24
12. Sinner, Come Home       4:21
13. Voices Of Evening       3:07
14. Fiddlehead Fern (Reprise)       2:07
2014 Cahalen Morrison & Eli West
Cahalen Morrison — guitar, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, lap slide, vocals
Eli West — guitar, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, vocals
Written by Danny
≡   Cahalen Morrison and Eli West lay bluegrass out on the drawing board when building structure for their recent release, I’ll Swing My Hammer with Both My Hands. ≡   Once the frame is in place, Cahalen Morrison paints a subdued darkness with his words while Eli West matches his sharp-angled riffing with both bluegrass traditions and the speed solos of early jazz records. I’ll Swing My Hammer with Both My Hands was produced in the Colorado Rockies by Tim O’Brien. The form of the pair mirrors Tim’s work with duo mate, Darrell Scott, and with their ability to position tight, intricate playing with a confidence that makes it all sound so damn easy. Cahalen Morrison and Eli West hang their songs in galleries that focus on the music of the American West in tones, stories and tales that spread their arms and create tales tall enough to match the territory that stretches from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coasts; crossing wide, sweeping vistas and multiple mountain chains. The album is friends with sons of the west in its Woody Guthrie honest folk and the Bob Wills Texas Swing swaying and adopting the native rhythms of sister western states.
≡   Like Pink Floyd has no Floyd or a Pink, I’ll Swing My Hammer with Both My Hands does not use a hammer to make noise; the tracks are built organically with a flurry of strings. The notes interlock like they draw the same breath on “Pocket Full of Dust”. The playing could seem like a competition in other hands however Morrison and West share space in the songs, their playing combining to support vocals delivered either with a single microphone or in harmony. The guitars color sepia-tones on “Down in the Lonesome Draw” as the story sets up camp in the lawless glory of the Old West, weighing merits by way of gossip and advice, on towns that dot the land, places like Abilene, Kansas City, Dodge City. “Off the Chama” tells of heritage on the banks of a river while the playing shows a Celtic bloodline in its melody. The playing of multiple instruments unites more often than they seek their own path on the instrumental “Ritzville/Steamboats on the Saskatchewan”, picking up speed as they hit water. Cahalen Morrison and Eli West never come close to making their music seem like work. They believe in making their music fit as perfectly as their partnership. I’ll Swing My Hammer with Both My Hands delivers songs born as an act of creation, formed in the glow of getting out of the way and letting the music speak.
Fortaken: http://www.thealternateroot.com/
≡   Cahalen Morrison & Eli West are, simply put, two of the most innovative and subtle roots musicians today. Their music draws from old folk sources, but it sounds vibrantly alive. Cahalen Morrison writes songs that sound like a Cormac McCarthy novel: simple, beautifully crafted, and seemingly formed from raw natural elements. Eli West brings jagged, angular arrangements based in bluegrass and old-time, but refracted through a 21st century lens. Like Ansel Adams’ photography, their music is instantly accessible and built from the simplest materials, but at the same time seems to transcend its base fundamentals. Together, Cahalen and Eli tap the root of the old country and bluegrass duets. As the sparse landscapes of Cahalen’s vocals reflect the warm glow of Eli’s voice, it’s clear that this duo was made to sing together.
≡   Cahalen Morrison & Eli West’s new album, Our Lady of the Tall Trees, is a stunning example of the power of great songwriting and musicianship. And we’re not the only ones saying this. They’ve been building buzz first and foremost among the top echelon of roots musicians, with Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, and Aoife O’Donovan actively singing their praises and spreading the gospel. Cahalen & Eli can easily back up that kind of expert acclaim, as they show on album standouts like the title track, “Our Lady of the Tall Trees,” or the opener, “Stone to Sand.” Their stripped-back cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta” has been gathering early praise as well. Cahalen Morrison & Eli West’s music sounds eminently familiar, for they’re drawing from our common love of American roots music, but it also sounds entirely different. Even on the classic, or traditional covers on the album like “Church St. Blues,” or “Poor Cowboy,” they sound totally unlike the many, many roots music bands covering this same hallowed ground. ≡   Gone are the twangy accents, gone the overplayed search for the “old, weird America,” and gone the banjo-as-a-prop theatrics. This is music built on the joy of the craft, made by hand by two young masters with love for the traditions, but a bold vision for how the old sounds can fit into new soundscapes.
In french: Pour amateurs de folk a l'ancienne par un duo de Seattle.                    //  Art: They make music that’s informed by the roots of American music, whether country, bluegrass, old-time, or blues, but also music that touches deeper than the tradition. The cover art, pictured above, is an incredible linocut by the immensely talented West Virginia artist, Mike Costello. Release is set for late August, early September! Release show is set for August 29th, at the Triple Door, in downtown Seattle.
Website: http://cahalenandeli.com/
Website: http://www.cahalen.com/
for booking…
US & Canada :
Mongrel Music

Netherlands & Belgium :
Lucky Dice Bookings
Sandra Zuidema —
United Kingdom & Ireland :
Loudon Temple —
for press and publicity…
US & Canada :

Netherlands & Belgium :

United Kingdom & Ireland :
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cahalenmorrisoneliwest
CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/cahalenmorrisoneliwest2
Interview: Cahalen Morrison and Eli West on "I'll Swing My Hammer With Both Hands", Posted by Chris Mateer on February 19, 2014 at 1:30pm
:: http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/interview-cahalen-morrison-and-eli-west-on-i-ll-swing-my-hammer
Album Notes:
≡   It means something that the word about Americana roots duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West spread first among musicians. Their debut album was passed around the ranks of some of the best American roots bands, raved about to fans online, and seen as a model to strive for in songwriting and musicianship. In this way, you could think of Cahalen & Eli as musician’s musicians. They’re the artists that other artists run to see at a festival. This is because their music seems effortlessly simple, but is complex enough to engage us far beyond the usual way we listen to roots music.
≡   Cahalen Morrison’s songwriting is as much informed by the dark lyricism of Cormac McCarthy as it is by Appalachian stringband songs, and Eli West’s angular, racing arrangements owe as much to the speed and aggression of early jazz as they do to bluegrass greats like Bill Monroe. Together they make music that draws from the well of American tradition, but reshapes these traditions into beautiful new forms.
≡   With their new album, I’ll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West have perfected their chemistry as a duo, falling into long-form instrumental grooves and threading their vocal harmonies together as tightly as a weaver. Produced by Grammy-winning artist Tim O’Brien, they recorded the album at the Colorado Rockies studio of Aaron Youngberg. Colorado Fiddler Ryan Drickey returned for the album, and renowned Boston fiddler Brittany Haas joined on as well. Erin Youngberg played bass, and Tim O’Brien brought out the mandolin and bouzouki, but the focus here belongs on the musical intimacy shared between Cahalen & Eli. As instrumentalists (Cahalen on banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, and dobro and Eli on guitar and bouzouki), their interplay is revelatory. Their melody and harmony lines duck and weave around each other; an interconnected roots system of music that seems to have no beginning or end. Their vocals intertwine as well, with Eli’s harmonies nudging Cahalen’s melodies into new and unexpected directions. Here they trade the lead more than ever, with Eli moving to the front on songs like “Pocket Full of Dust.” The traditional songs covered on the album are chosen with great care, from old-time singer Alice Gerrard’s slow dirge “Voices of Evening” to country legends The Louvin Brothers’ “Lorene.” As a songwriter, Cahalen has brought a lighter touch to his songs, as can be heard on “James is Out” about an ornery mule, or “Livin’ In America,” a fun yet biting song about American privilege. But his raw, transcendent power as a lyricist is still on display here. Songs like “Fiddlehead Fern” or “Down in the Lonesome Draw” showcase his uncommon ability to use evocative natural imagery to channel human emotions.
≡   “On, 'I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands" you can hear the flavors and feelings and stories of old bluegrass, mountain music, Texas Swing. Woody Guthrie and Bob Wills are lurking back there somewhere. It's all performed with deft voices, hands and hearts and huge creativity. Eli and Cahalen are master musical craftsmen, and this is a creative jewel.” — Bruce Molsky, January 2014

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West — I'll Swing My Hammer With Both My Hands [2014]




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