Winebringer – Palmer T. Lee (reviewed by T. Bebedor)

Fans of American folk music will probably already be acquainted with the name Palmer T Lee, he makes up one half of banjo-based band The Lowest Pair who have been busy pumping out a catalogue of well written and cleverly arranged folk songs since 2013 and this carries through into this, his solo album.

The production is sparse and it suits the overall mood of the album, being – by his own admission – a ‘break-up’ album the songs are stripped back often to simply a guitar and vocals, but this doesn’t mean the songs are sad, sorrowful and hinting at self-pity, on the contrary, the album has moments of emotional outpouring but also an edged humour and insightful lyrics that demand a second listen.

We open with a laid-back guitar accompanied by vocals that sound as if they were recorded in a cupboard…in a good way…it whispers in your ear from close quarters, Lee drawing the listener in with a feeling of intimacy that fits perfectly into the genre of music. There are smatterings of bass, mandolin and banjo here and there (and a surprising duet on ‘Moon You’ that is a highlight of the album) but the songs are meant to feel personal and having a simple guitar with vocals and some cleverly constructed lyrics, you’ve got a wonderful album that punches far above its weight.

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