Red Yarn’s Old Barn
In his fifth album, Red Yarn’s Old Barn, Red Yarn (aka Andy Furgeson), accompanied by his wife and singing partner Jessie Eller-Isaacs and a host of excellent backing musicians,
ventures to the barnyard, with seven original songs, four fresh renditions of traditional tunes, and a honky tonk cover of the Bob Morris penned song “I’m Gonna Feed You Now,” originally popularized by Country legend Porter Wagoner.
With wonderful original lyrics that are both infectious and fun to sing, the Iron & Wine-style “Old Hen Cackled” uses the traditional African American folksong “Birds, Beast, Bugs, and Fishes” as inspiration for a slinky, funky, song about an outspoken hen. “Down in the Meadow” finds guest Jenny Conlee leading an accordion driven Zydeco stomp up. “Go Little Gator” is a lovely Bruce Springsteen-like reminiscence of 12-year-old Furgeson being taught to drive a toy farm vehicle by his father. The Alan Lomax collected Appalachian critter naming folksong “Sally Ann” is given a percussive arrangement, new lyrics and a beautiful fiddle solo by Annalisa Tornfelt, while the old cowboy nugget “The Harrington Barn Dance” finds the whole band yippee ki-yaying over the gorgeous pedal steel guitar playing of Paul Brainard. Elsewhere, the traditional African-American folksong “Did You Feed My Cow” popularized by the great Ella Jenkins, serves as a searing duet between Furgeson and jazz singer Ashli Christoval. Real life tragedy and triumph are explored in the sad and soulful “Barnfire,” and the album ending, life affirming song “To Raise A Barn” which depicts a community coming together to rebuild fallen structures and shaken dreams. Furgeson delivers his skillful, witty, fun, and inventive, best.
Lahri Bond ©2018 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.