9 Songs, 29 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ben Weaver’s Mirepoix and Smoke is a stripped-down piece of beauty.  With just Anathallo’s Erica Froman adding harmonies, Weaver adds his own acoustic guitar, piano, banjo and an occasional drum, creating a purebred folk sound that keeps the “rust” in rustic. There’s a timeless appeal to modern folk songs such as “East Jefferson,” the banjo-led “Drag the Hills” and “While I’m Gone,” where Weaver sounds like an old farmhand who’s gotten hold of a tape recorder. The effect is more like a Smithsonian Folk Collection of Anthracite Miners than of a modern-day singer-songwriter. The album was recorded in three days and lasts just under half an hour. “Maiden Cliff” takes its lead from an old spiritual. “Split Ends” returns from the fields to the living room where Fromer and Weaver sit down for a song about the process of life, from youth to encroaching death. For such a short album, it presents a complete picture. It’s arguably Weaver’s finest album to date.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ben Weaver’s Mirepoix and Smoke is a stripped-down piece of beauty.  With just Anathallo’s Erica Froman adding harmonies, Weaver adds his own acoustic guitar, piano, banjo and an occasional drum, creating a purebred folk sound that keeps the “rust” in rustic. There’s a timeless appeal to modern folk songs such as “East Jefferson,” the banjo-led “Drag the Hills” and “While I’m Gone,” where Weaver sounds like an old farmhand who’s gotten hold of a tape recorder. The effect is more like a Smithsonian Folk Collection of Anthracite Miners than of a modern-day singer-songwriter. The album was recorded in three days and lasts just under half an hour. “Maiden Cliff” takes its lead from an old spiritual. “Split Ends” returns from the fields to the living room where Fromer and Weaver sit down for a song about the process of life, from youth to encroaching death. For such a short album, it presents a complete picture. It’s arguably Weaver’s finest album to date.

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