Mild Winter, "views" ( independent) LP
Anyone who would consider themselves "hip" to their own community's "scene" has seen a folk/rock group rise up & play house shows to the applause of post secondary education types on late Friday nights…it's inevitable . For all of those whose "scene" includes the Shenandoah Valley, namely the space between Route 11 & I-81 in Harrisonburg , that "folk/rock" slot should be held by Mild Winter. With a couple of EP's worth of demos, & a full length due in the early spring months of 2008, this three piece is more than worthy of the title. What makes them a bit more special than the typical singer/songwriter types is the rustic feel of the instrumentation. Rather than doubling or even tripling up on the acoustic six string, Mild Winter employs banjo, fiddle, acoustic six string, & a small trap kit to accompany the vocal. What results is a beautiful mix of back porch songs about drinking, loving, leaving, & praying. "Views" is the most current chapter of the group's travels, including pieces from the upcoming LP, as well as demos from the back half
of 2007. Within the batch of tunes from early practice sessions, there are two versions of "the old ark's moving". The trio would do good to keep the "slow" version in their live set. The rambling "it's been a long time", as well as most any song featuring the male vocal comes off like an Appalachian take on the patented "Harrisonburg" crooner sound (references would include Aidan Coughlan as well as Aaron Carlson). The highlights come with the female fronted tunes. "Prayer", "when you're gone", & "18 miles" (which comes form an early practice tape – hopefully a better recording will show up somewhere?) are the most memorable of the collection. While the upcoming full length, represented here by the first three songs, will be a good record, this sound nearly screams to be experienced live in a non-traditional venue…say, someone's living room, this Friday night?