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Yarn
Come On In

 

  On their third album this Brooklyn-based country/roots band pushes further into the darker side of Americana. Yarn formed in 2006. It evolved out of guitarist and lead vocalist's Blake Christiana's previous electric jam band, Blake & the Family Dog. By 2007 Yarn's first album had reached #14 on the American Music Associations Top 40 chart. Their second album, Empty Pockets, which came out in 2009, included a plethora of shadowy subject matter, yet had an almost jaunty overall feeling because most of the songs had lovely melodies and upbeat rhythms. The latest, Come On In, features Christiana along with Trevor MacArthur on guitar and vocals, Andrew Hendryx on mandolin and harmonica, Rick Bugel on bass, and Jay Frederick on drums and percussion. Cameos by Jeremy Garrett on fiddle, and Skip Krevens on pedal steel add an extra dash of spice to the proceedings. Yarn's regular gigs in New York City's landmark clubs such as Kenny's Castaways and Hill Country honed the band into an exceedingly tight ensemble. Mandolin fans will especially enjoy Andrew Hendryx's mix of older tremolo techniques with modern single string solos.

Stylistically, the music on Come On In is similar to their last release, but the lyrical content isn't quite as dark. Alcohol still features prominently in the subject matter with a song such as "These Bars Don't Look Too Friendly" which points toward a more ambivalent view of booze. The northern New York town of Schenectady probably hasn't had many songs written about it. But on "Schenectaday" Yarn remedies this with a bittersweet ditty.  The most pitiful song on Come On In is "I Wanted to Get High," which focuses on that existential moment when only one thing matters.

Given the band's recreational proclivities, receiving another CD from Yarn is not exactly a sure thing. So if you like your country roots music unvarnished and raw, give Yarn a listen, now, while everyone in the band is still with us.

 

 

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