Opening an album with Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ might be considered a risky move but Millpond Moon go on to cover Robbie Robertson’s ‘All La Glory’ so I felt that I had to stick around and see what sort of a job they made of it.
Millpond Moon are an Americana duo from Norway and if you haven’t heard of them: well, they played Glastonbury in 2004 so you’re about as unhip as I am. Most of their songs are written by Rune Hauge who shares lead vocals and strong harmonies with Kjersti Misje as well as playing some rather tasty acoustic lead guitar. They have some friends in support, of course, notably Rickie Simpkins on fiddle and drummer Kenny Malone – he played on Dobie Gray’s ‘Drift Away’ by the way.
Top among the original songs are ‘Lena Baker’, the story of the last woman to be executed in the electric chair in Georgia. That was in 1945 and you might not be surprised to learn that the state granted her a full pardon sixty years later. The other standout is ‘Modi’, a tribute to Modigliani, “the last true Bohemian”. This is one of two songs in which Millpond Moon employ a string quartet to enrich their sound.
As far ‘All La Glory’ – it sounds very good in its stripped-down form although some of the words still don’t make a whole lot of sense. Yes, I understand what it’s about but even so. Millpond Moon’s second album is sufficiently varied and very enjoyable. Yes, I like it.
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‘Wayfaring Stranger’, filmed three years ago and now included on Millpond Moon’s new album: