To make a $10 bet that you have heard of Mitchell & Harris' 2011 album "Traveling By Moonlight" is a sure profit of $10, but as the band sings on "Lost at Sea", "nothing that makes life worth living/comes easy or free." You can safely judge the beauty of "Traveling By Moonlight" by its cover. Texans Anna Mae Mitchell and G. Pat Harris throw folk, country and bluegrass into a blender, and the easy-to-swallow result is "newgrass" for a younger generation.
Each track on this album has its own personality. The backbone riff of "New Day" resembles an Allman Brothers composition, whereas "Glue" holds more of a bluesy vibe that highlights Mitchell's wispy vocals. "The Overgrown Graveyard" is hauntingly eerie. There's nothing more ominous or convincing than a cemetery plot to warn you of experiencing a similar fate to that of the poor soul who lays in the ground.
"Left Me Like You" is the stand-out record here. It is crowd-friendly tune for those who prefer radio-friendly folk over the special interest sound of bluegrass, and it is a sweet ballad for the heartbroken. Mitchell & Harris must be a favorite at their local bars and coffee klatsches, as it is easy to imagine the audience demanding encores from a band that makes such good bar music.
Also featured on "Traveling By Moonlight" are a host of special guest musicians, which include Paul Glasse on mandolin, James Anderson on violin, Wayne Salzmann and Graeme Francis on drums and percussion and Aaron Goldfarb and Carter Arrington on guitar.
Mitchell and Harris sample a bit of everything in their music, and they can occasionally be found on tour. More information on the band can be found here on Sonicbids.com. You can also preview "Traveling By Moonlight" on iTunes.com.
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