By Alan Morgan
It is usually pretty obvious when a band has put in countless hours of work tightening up their sound, and Red June is no exception. Debuting their second studio release, “Beauty Will Come”, on June 5th, Asheville, NC based Red June will serve listeners a diverse yet cohesive mix of original Americana tunes; North Carolina style. Each track on the album has a slightly different feel than the others, but what you won’t hear change throughout the album are the tight three-piece vocal harmonies, well composed arrangements and tasteful fiddle and dobro fills. “Beauty Will Come” is sure to appeal to any listener with a thirst for soulful, rootsy and eclectic mountain music.
Red June came to be in 2008 when longtime friends Will Straughan (resonator guitar, vocals), John Cloyd Miller (mandolin, guitar, vocals), and Natalya Weinstein (fiddle, vocals), came together to form the band after jamming at a pickin’ party in Asheville. With well-crafted, honest songwriting and beyond proficient musicianship to offer, the band gained significant respect and notoriety in the Southeast region. Their first studio release was voted the #1 regional-release on WNCW- one of North Carolina’s premier independent radio stations. With two more years of playing together under their belt since their last album, “Beauty Will Come” is sure to show off their growth and progression as a band.
The opening track on the album, “These Old Chains”, kind of represents the feel of what is to come on the rest of the album, (lyrically anyways), and does a nice job building where it needs to. The second track is more of a somber number with a moderate tempo and a clever distribution of vocals….you will just have to hear it for yourself. To lighten to mood, the third track, entitled “Piney Branch Breakdown” is an instrumental old-time fiddle tune that mostly features the playing of Red June’s fiddler, Natalya Weinstein. The mood stays pretty light hearted into the album’s fourth track, “All That the Fall Leaves”, an uptempo waltz with plenty of bounce and mandolin tremolos. The following track, “Bittersweet”, is the first to feature fiddle player/vocalist Natalya Weinstein on lead vocal, and also draws the album’s title from its lyrics.
Perhaps the most admirable aspect of this album it the fact that with every track you listen to comes almost a totally different sub-genre” or “form” of Americana music. Ranging from folk, to bluegrass, to old-time, the sixth track of the album, “I’m Willing to Try”, is a brilliantly executed gospel number, done a capella, and strategically flows into a bluesy mid-tempo bluegrass tune, “Cloud of Dust”. The album finishes out by continuing its theme of surprising the listener with each new track, (me anyway), and keeping things fresh. The final track that you will hear, “Red Sky Of Morn”, is definitely their most folky on the album and seems to be an appropriate way to close it out.