The Haden Triplets
The Family Songbook
The Haden Triplets (Petra, Rachel and Tanya) return with their second album together – though they have a multitude of projects together and alone or with other family members and connections – there was a previous album that showcased the dynasty and its vestiges but this is the follow-up record to the sisters’ self-titled debut.
Their father was legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden, their brother is Josh of the band Spain – and here on their Family Songbook they cover various tunes that run deep in America’s psyche (Wildwood Flower, Wayfaring Stranger, Pretty Baby – aka Didn’t Leave Nobody But The Baby, I’ll Fly Away) and uncover several songs written by their grandfather. He was a friend of the Carter Family and Porter Wagoner; a young Charlie Haden would sing (and yodel) the cowboy songs his father wrote long before he switched rhinestones for Ornette Coleman’s ideal of free jazz.
There’s something heavenly about the blend of sibling harmonies and so it is (again) with this collection of songs by the Hadens. There are some lovely contemporary surprises too – a beautiful save of Kanye West’s Say You Will, which never sounded much like a ‘song’ underneath his robotic slur from his Autotune daze but now it lives and breathes and feels as real as any of the songs you loved and heard in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and its accompanying soundtrack – which is basically a primer for the work the Hadens are doing here; certainly an obvious touchstone.
Their brother’s song Every Time I Try (from Win Wenders’ 1997 film The End of Violence) isn’t so much saved as bathed in a new light, gently re-imagined, with Josh on bass.
And though the sisters are all fine instrumentalists – as well as singers – the other treat on this album is the contributions from various musicians; friends and collaborators include Bill Frisell, Woody Jackson (also the producer) and Doyle Bramhall II.
It’s an exquisite trip through a windswept world of family nostalgia and heartland American standards.
Also any album that features Jay Bellerose on drums is worth your time.
Check this out and get lost in the strange new worlds of songs from the past. Gorgeous.
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