The Deer’s Cry is a Nashville, TN based band named after an old Irish prayer. Comprised of Karen Ballew (vocals/Celtic harp/portative organ), Bryan Brock (percussion), Patrick Atwater (double bass) and Will MacLean (banjo), the band also collaborates and records with other musicians. They are releasing their latest album entitled Rise with the Dawn.
Filled with Irish and Celtic influences, these are songs that brandish a pulse brimming with atmosphere and ambience. The deft musicianship on this album carries a sound that largely incorporates the banjo, harp and strings. These soundscapes capture huge moments of light and dark.
Rise with the Dawn opens up with “In Clear Winter’s Night,” where the sounds of the banjo jumpstart this track. The finger-picking on the banjo is evocative. The vocals are crystalline with a clear and startling cadence on this song filled with Celtic and Irish influences. The sound of strings adds a lush accompaniment.
On the title track “Rise with the Dawn,” Ballew’s vocals come in. Her voice is silky and elegant, propelled by emotional power. The soft and mellow cadences arriving from the harp underlines her vocals. The tone is lovely. The sound is soft with a lulling feel to it. This is a quiet track. The cadence of wind instruments also traces this song. The sound is easy-going and laid-back.
The sound from the harp on “Smiling Blue” is riveting. Ballew’s vocals come in in a joyful manner. This is an uplifting track filled with positive notes. Percussions that dress this song gives off an amped feel. Half of the song is sung in Spanish.
Moody cadences of the piano drives “Seeking Worth.” A mellow acoustic track, the sound is dynamic and rich. The piano solely supports the vocals. The piano tune is melancholic and meandering. The vocals arrive in a hushed manner. The tone on this song is quiet and reticent.
On the closer “The Deer’s Cry,” Ballew’s vocals are radiant and filled with light. The cadence really soars. Next, the sounds of the banjo set in. A strong sense of urgency arises. This is a dramatic track. The strings add a stirring tone.
Bursting with a lively vibe coming from the percussions, the first half of the album are soulful jaunts filled with uplifting and energized beats. Jam-packed with an amped feel, these songs are fully charged brimming with an up-keyed vibe. Filled with vibrant undertones, the majority of these tracks will get you moving in no time. The second half contains a soft lilting quality. The effect is lulling like much in a lullaby. The quiet tones will leave you in a contemplative mood to meditate on the moving melodies.
In the vein of Irish, bluegrass, jazz and other world tradition genres, the band members’ unique and intuitive perspectives really add range to all of the tracks on this album. There is a definitive spark that will draw listeners closer to the flame.
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