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Where the Wild Birds Do Whistl

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Album Review

Bridging out into slightly more original material and spoken word poetry, as Aubrey Atwater has released books of poetry in addition to her musical releases, Where the Wild Birds Do Whistle is a mixed bag of material. Their originals tend to overreach at times, settling on rather stilted socially conscious narratives and overly picturesque imagery. Still, to their credit, they can make their original material sound as if it truly were as old as the songs in their repertoire, but as always, their skill at recasting traditional material accounts for the album's best moments. In particular, tracks like "Pretty Saro" and "Dabbling in the Dew," both of which were learned from dulcimer master Jean Ritchie, find them at the absolute height of their talents, as they present the understated grandeur of the simple folk melodies with all the attention to detail due them. All in all, a convincingly accomplished set that would be a bit stronger if a few more traditional cuts were included.

Biography

Formed: 1987

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Rhode Island-born folk musicians Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly met in March 1987, when they shared emcee duties at the all-volunteer Stone Soup Coffeehouse in Providence, Rhode Island. Joining their voices together for an a cappella introduction to one of the evening's performers, they discovered that their combined tone was much greater than what they could produce on their own. In the years since, they've continued to make their greatest statements together....
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Where the Wild Birds Do Whistl, Atwater/Donnelly
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