Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band – White Swan
Posted on March 5, 2013 by Dan Harr
by Janet Goodman
“The net has been cast wide,” says Susie Glaze of Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band, referring to the range of influences on their latest collaboration, “White Swan.” The West Coast quintet’s eleven-track project reflects a love for bluegrass, folk and Celtic music, with five originals written by various configurations of the band, plus well-picked covers by the likes of masters, such as Steve Earle (“Me And The Eagle”) and James Taylor (“Mill Worker”).
These artists have a performance chemistry that works, with tight arrangements of fiddle, mandolin, guitar and upright bass, and Glaze’s authentic Appalachian voice – by way of Southern California – is icing on their musical confection. The Ernest Troost song, “Evangeline,” allows her an opportunity to show more ache and tenderness in her confident holler style, and she sings in downright shades of Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention, Fotheringay) on the dulcimer-and-fiddle traditional English/Irish folk ballad “Fair Ellender.”
Glaze has a hand in penning “The Dark Eileen,” with its flowery recitation start, and her softer-side delivery glides over the Emerald Isle-inspired hills and valleys of its melody. The title track is where the band lives up to its high-lonesome moniker, and Jean Ritchie’s “The Soldier” closes out the set with a haunting Irish drone. SGTHB give listeners a fresh take on tradition.