All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Review: Kites & Crows - Lifeboat EP

Kites & Crows - Lifeboat EP
2008, Kites & Crows

Ashland, Oregon’s Kites & Crows started out as the musical extension of singer/songwriter Mysha Caruso but has grown into something more. In the process of creating their debut, the Lifeboat EP, something special happened. While Caruso is still the driving force as lead singer/songwriter/guitar player, the rest of Kites & Crows seem always to find their voice instrumentally and enhance Caruso’s creations beyond what they might have been alone. Call it singer/songwriter/ensemble, call it 21st century folk; call it whatever you want. Kites & Crows is creating incredibly wild and original folk sounds less than 100 miles from the left coast.

Lifeboat opens with Way Down The Line, an understated Americana tune that came across as very stoic and dry. Kites & Crows open up a bit on End Of The Road, a great Folk/Americana piece with simple and memorable melody. Mysha Caruso's vocals here are spot on. Weathervane has a Celtic feel to it; a love song based more in reality than in starry-eyed romance. Weathervane is touching in a cynical fashion. More To The Story is a wonderful song about starting over written in subtle and searching tones that ask voiceless questions. More To The Story will stay with you long after The Lifeboat EP is done playing. Don't Hold Me Down explores the need to touch base at home once in a while contrasted with the need to go out and make your place in the world. The two don't need to be mutually exclusive, and the narrator here is asking freedom to do both. Backroad Pioneer closes out the Lifeboat EP with a classic sounding bit of folk songwriting.

Kites & Crows have a very reserved sound, yet tell stories to song set with brilliant nuance and subtle conviction. Lifeboat EP is an experience you will remember. Vocalist Caruso is a pleasure to listen to, and I suspect this is a CD you'll keep coming back to.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Kites & Crows at You can purchase a copy of The Lifeboat EP at

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