The Path I Choose to Walk
The Path I Choose to Walk, the debut album from Humbletown, a duo from South Dakota featuring Morgan Carnes on banjo and Dylan Lewis on guitar and mandolin, is the sound of warm spring air, with its gentle melodies and vocals that bend, sway, and twirl, dancing in perfect harmony. The contrast between the two voices, Carnes’ breathy, ethereal vocals, and Lewis’ steady voice that is like warm soup, always there to provide comfort, create the spark which powers Humbletown’s music. Musically they rely on sparse, minimal arrangements, sometimes nothing more than simple clawhammer banjo and gently strummed acoustic guitar. At most those arrangements are fleshed out with the addition of an upright bass and fiddle, both which play with powerful restraint so as not to overwhelm the vocals of Carnes and Lewis.
Lyrically, Humbletown says they hope to address the “various choices and life events that lead us to where we are today,” recognizing how, “every small decision or life event takes part in building the larger picture of your life.” Their songs pull from the personal lives of Carnes and Lewis with lyrics that are as direct as they are honest. When Cames sings, “Memories of the days that I could not keep still/ Looking for the spaces I could never fill/ Held up by my lonely banjo strings/ Living on the edge without my pretty little things,” on “Pretty Little Things,” the pain of loss and regret bleeds through in her haunting voice. It is that truthful honesty and the way Humbletown are able to voice it both in their lyrics and their music that provide so much power, depth, and life to The Path I Choose to Walk.