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Echo Sparks - Ghost Town Girl (Self-Released)

26 January 2015

Echo Sparks are a trio from Orange Country comprised of DA Valdez (The Pontiac Brothers), CC Kinnick, and Cindy Ballreich. After releasing an EP in 2013, the band has just released their first full length, Ghost Town Girl. An endearing collection of country folk tunes, the band’s style hearkens back all the way back to early blues and Appalachian folk. Music like this sounds like it easily could have been born out of the Laurel Canyon in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Ghosts of The Grateful Dead, Gram Parsons, and early Neil Young haunt these songs, and the band was smart to listen to them.

The album opener, “Broken Arrow,” features sunny Grateful Dead harmonies (Valdez sounds remarkably like Jerry Garcia here) augmented with an absolutely heavenly organ floating in the background. The most successful songs here are fuller in production like “Mexican Moon” but many sparser songs like “End of the Line” work just as well. Where many similar bands sound like trust fund kids that bought a banjo out of boredom, Echo Sparks legitimately sound like the real deal, “born of dirt, hopeless love affairs, and drive through dairies.” You can just feel the remnants of the Dust Bowl in every pore. Ghost Town Girl is a fantastic debut, bringing a new freshness and rejuvenation to the music it’s indebted to.

 

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