The Haden Triplets
Third Man Records
So, let’s get the family stuff out the way first – it’s an impressive story, but one that’s always trotted out. Rachael, Tanya and Petra are The Haden Triplets, daughters of jazz legend Charlie Haden. Their brother is Josh Haden – of the band Spain. They’ve worked together on and off, exploring other projects – most notably Petra with her multi-layered a capella albums, there was also a Haden Family (and friends) album showing all the connections and a bunch of different line-ups. But this is the first full-lengther from The Haden Triplets.
It’s a set of close-harmony country songs that seems to sit in a space all on its own – lovingly, perfectly out of step as one minute it’s an earnest tribute to Kitty Wells with a song from 1955 and next thing a Nick Lowe song has been cut to suit a similar cloth, dressed up and draped over the album as if it, too, is a song the sisters discovered from back in the early 1950s.
Apart from the wonderful vocals of the Hadens here the record succeeds because of the playing and production from Ry Cooder. A safe pair of hands, always. He and his son Joachim (drums/percussion) provide most of the musical muscle and make this something of a double family affair. But between Cooder and The Haden Sisters it’s the straight-faced, sincere and earnest approach that sells this. The genuine love and joy and interest in this music – something Ry fans will remember from his incredible run of albums exploring various American and world music across the 1970s.
Here it’s all about the voices, the blend that can only be achieved when relations crowd the microphone. The voice – and a set of wonderful songs. The Haden Sisters and Ry Cooder have created something really special here, a subtle masterpiece.