THE MIDNIGHT PINE
Timbre has always been a signature component of The Midnight Pine's spectral recordings and live shows. Shelbi Bennett's velvety smooth voice floats over spatial western blues, faintly augmented by home-made instruments and whirring, vaporous backgrounds. With it's third, eponymous record, The Midnight Pine turns up its sound, delivering almost sculptural renderings that veer into alt country and soul, reveling in instrument textures and harmonies that feel as vital to the songs as the compositions themselves.
On the album's opener, Broken Wing, woozy piano strikes, guitar strums and slides shimmer and sway around a bassy western waltz. The mood shifts and horns punch in to bolster the hip-shaking soul jam of Vice, followed by the slow burn torch song Barricade. Other highlights include the 60s pop infused Mockingbird, the 60s folk influenced Fortress, and the dramatically unfolding waltz Mother of Wolves, sung in resounding harmony with guitarist and backing vocalist Matthew Molarius (Transfer).
Bennett's lilting lead vocals swing easily from sweet to powerful in the tradition of Judy Collins and Cass Elliott. The album's vintage recording techniques also reveal a fondness for the roomy, bright recordings of that era. Bennett wrote these songs in partnership with lyricist/percussionist Alfred Howard, keyboardist Josh Rice and Molarius. Howard and Molarius also recorded and produced The Midnight Pine, calling on the talented pool of session players of their Redwoods record label to help them flesh out the tunes of this follow up to The Midnight Pine's well received second release, Buried.
THE MIDNIGHT PINE has been NOMINATED FOR BEST AMERICANA ALBUM at 2017 San diego music awards