Do you like folk with a twangy country feel? If so, Dehlia Low will leave you feeling fulfilled. Ravens & Crows is a perfect blend of old timey, almost familiar tunes, presented with beautiful vocals, impressive instrumentation, and kickin’ rhythms. Starting with the songs: with song titles the likes of “State of Jefferson,” “Living is Easy,” “Drifting on a Lonesome Sea,” and “Cannonball Blues,” Dehlia Low has followed the traditional path of folksy, oft-depressed lyricism, a mirror of the Appalachia from which their musical tradition stems.
In terms of instrumentation, the group has all the right sounds, with beautifully-picked mandolin, lovely fiddle, and swooping, gliding guitar. Though most songs include vocals, the instrumental numbers and breaks in the songs with vocals leave no doubt this would be a fun act to see live.
As with the instrument playing, the vocals of front-duo Anya Hinkle and Stacy Claude are killer, a more rootsy version of The Be-Good Tanyas at their finest. Their harmonies are spot-on (and beautifully evidenced on the title track, “Ravens & Crows”), and they perform beautifully-executed vocal gyrations (as on “Goin’ Down”). And while the women carry the show, Bryan Clendenin’s singing on “Thunder” and “$40 Chain” adds a comfortable (think old Willie Nelson) patina to the album.
Dehlia Low is a comprehensive folk/country group, playing great tunes really well, and leaving this writer looking forward to subsequent albums and, hopefully, eventually seeing them live.