The debut album from Auckland alternative folk trio Tweed is a confection of tight vocal harmonies with warm and raw edges, and imaginative storytelling in 1960s/’70s folk tradition. (Think Crosbie, Stills and Nash, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, etc.)
Recorded and mixed at Roundhead Studios, Jordan Stone does a great job of keeping the purity and clarity of each line intact, while blending them into a mellifluous whole. ‘High Brow Blues’ takes the listener on a journey with each song and through the album as a whole. This reminds me in style to the work of UK folk musicians Seth Lakeman and Eliza Carthy, not so much in specific ideas, but rather the feeling that you’re listening to really good bardic storytelling.
The instrumental work by the core trio of Nancy Howie (guitar, bass, tambourine and thumb piano), Steff Werman (mandolin) and Devin Ashton (cajon, drums and other percussion), is strong. Likewise their guests, Sarah Thompson on French horn, Fiona Rouse’s cello and Rowan Uhe on electric guitar work well under the central vocal harmonies of Howie, Werman and Ashton – blending so well that occasionally the instruments seem like another voice.
The passion and polish that Tweed brings to their playing is voluble and infectious.