This is the second release by this intriguing quartet from Asheville, N.C. Their centerpiece is the distinctive voice of guitarist Anya Hinkle, who is also the principal songwriter for the band. That voice is ably matched by the harmonies and occasional lead of bassist Greg Stiglets and the interweaving instrumental work of mandolinist Jed Willis and resonator guitarist Aaron Ballance.
Woven Waterswas produced by John Doyle, an innovative guitarist best known in Celtic music circles. However, he’s no stranger to those who might have heard him collaborate with some fine acoustic musicians such as Alison Brown and Tim O’Brien. The result is a generally cohesive showcase for Tellico’s singular sound. At their best, songs such as Hinkle’s “Ballad Of Zona Abston” and Stiglets’s “Salsa” are narratives that lull the listener by their familiar settings before leading us into unexpected directions.
Some of Hinkle’s other songs are more generally evocative, but no less beautiful, such as the gently wistful “It’s Just The Rain,” “Courage For The Morning,” and “Like November.” The harmonies are simple but exquisite, and the band’s grooves are tight with an emphasis on showcasing their fine compositions at their best. There’s a smidge of electric guitar and lap steel on a couple tracks, and one or two of the songs may not live up to the high standards of most of the album. But Tellico has a gift for fine vocals and distinctive material, and those are the creative sparks that can carry a band a long way. Definitely worth a listen! (Organic Records, P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704, www.organic-records.com.)HK