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Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer - Seed of a Pine (Self Release)

Star rating: 

Every now and then an album comes along that is so good, you just can't get anything else done. Then there's the dilemma of not being able to get past track five because it deserves to be played over and over. I have this problem at the moment with Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer's first official collaboration album, which as far as problems go, isn't such a bad one. With an immediately warm and soothing feel to the record, the rich acoustic sound and perfectly pitched vocals courtesy of both singers, together with some fine electric guitar playing makes SEED OF A PINE essential listening. 

Recorded in Chicago with Zach Goheen at the helm, the eleven self-penned songs, democratically selected from the pens of both Dave and Mandy, have been treated to some fine arrangements throughout, calling upon a handful of guests including Po'Girl's Allison Russell and Benny Sidelinger, JT and the Clouds' Jeremy 'JT Nero' Lindsay and Chris Merrill, together with Andrew Lauher on drums, Jared Rabin on violin, Peter Mulvey on electric guitar and vocals and Nora Barton on cello. The album also features some gorgeous artwork produced by the duo's neighbour's 8 year-old daughter Zia Kypta-Keith, which was inspired by the title song, some of which have been lovingly autographed by the young artist in the Flagstaff area of Arizona. 

Whilst Serotiny (May Our Music) and the title song Seed of a Pine both utilise infectious electric guitar riffs throughout and Forget the Diamonds and Golden Grey showcase some of the most delicious harmonies to have reached this reviewer's ears thus far, SEED OF A PINE is destined to be the catalyst that will inevitably see this duo reach these shores in the not too distant future.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky