Palace / Flophouse (label)
25 November 2017 (released)
25 November 2017
There are a hell of a lot of very ordinary bands playing in the Roots / Americana genre and many of them have moved there having failed to make an impression playing other forms.
Not so Jangling Sparrows – this is a delight from the first notes of ‘The Party Ain’t Over’ to the end of ‘Pops Is Comin’ Up’.
There is kind of a throwback to the original Americana bands like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and a strong country element too but the music has such joy and integrity that you just know that they are the real deal – this is the music that they WANT to play.
The songwriting is superb, clever lyrics that speak to the heart alongside melodies that stay in the mind and strong rhythms and equally strong playing with the usual collection of fiddle, banjo, accordion, harmonium and guitars and Paul Edelman really displays a great voice.
Add to that production of a fine standard and you are pointing at one of the best albums in the genre I have heard all year.
For me, the standout tracks are opener ‘The Party Ain’t Over’ with its’ handclap percussion and harmonies, great slide solo and all; ‘Burnin’ A Hole’ has a soulful touch to it, Eagle-esque guitars and a keening vocal that really catches the spirit; the delightful picking and mouth harp of ‘Ain’t Waiting For The Paint To Dry’ plus some wonderful Wurlitzer and the simply beautiful elegy of ‘Pops Is Comin’ Up’.
I don’t know if I will be lucky enough to see Jangling Sparrows live but these songs would really work onstage and I’d love to see it.