South To Cedars is a four-piece acoustic Americana band from Colorado comprised of Ben Haugestuen (guitar/vocals/mandolin/harmonica/percussion), Shawna Stratton (vocals/percussion/auxiliary guitar/mandolin), Greg Fischer (fiddle/vocals) and Jim Eads (bass/vocals). The band’s recent release Tell Everyone is about the struggle with work, love (and lust), faith and family according to their Bandcamp page. I would say that anyone can relate to those issues and I also would say this blend of bluegrass folk and country is just as easy to appreciate.
The songs are very well performed, written and recorded. I found the songs to be so easy on the ears. There is a lot of warmth in these recordings that instill a sense of comfort.
The album starts with “Crashing Down” which deals with things like working a nine-to-five job and anticipation and ambition. There is no denying the beautiful rich organic instrumentation and just as gorgeous vocal harmonies. The band is just getting started. Next up is “Supernovacaine” where Stratton sings. She reminded me of Loretta Lynn in that she has the classic sort of country voice. The music is a fun mix of bluegrass, country and folk that blend seamlessly.
“Magnolia Drive” is up next and is a little more melancholy, reflective and nostalgic. It was a nice change and showcased another emotional shade to the band. “Moonshine” is rock based and reminded me of Wilco in some ways while “Wildflower” creates an energy filled yet warm vibe that is so easy going down.
“Tell Everyone” is very vibrant with striking string work. The band kind of jams out here not unlike The Dave Matthews band. I was imaging people dancing to this song. “Batteries” has some of the best guitar and bass action. The song is nostalgic but mixes in hope as well which is all coated in love. As the album continues I thoroughly enjoyed “Crazy and High,”,“October Flowers” and “ONE.” They close with the sweet and tender “Higher.”
This is such a great album from seasoned musicians. There is just no denying that when you hear these songs. It’s heartfelt, relatable and undeniably human. What else could you ask for?
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