Home From The Mills
REVIEW BY: Curtis Jones
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/28/2012
While Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein both have impeccable bluegrass pedigrees in their careers, when they come together, their combination isn't quite bluegrass or Americana. Home From The Mills pulls together a collection of fourteen mostly beautiful tracks of acoustic music. As a matter of fact, I had trouble reviewing this disc precisely because it is a thoroughly enjoyable album, but it lacks standout songs or anything you can really point to that really grabs you as the “best.” But the song selection and instrumentation combine into an absolutely gorgeous mix that goes well with coffee on a country Sunday morning. The addition of Moondi's daughter on background makes their disc Home From The Mills sound like a reincarnation of Peter, Paul, and Mary.
The song selection, like a lot of country folk albums, is reminiscent. "Leaving Nancy" and "Close The Door Lightly When You Go" speak to separation, while "Rod McNeil" is a tribute to a man who brought bluegrass musicians to a moose lodge near Pittsburg. The title track "Home From The Mills" is also reminiscent of home but it is unusual in that most musicians in the Appalachian vein as these two are usually pine for Kentucky or Virginia. But "Home" speaks of a long left home in New England, which is apropos since Gaudreau is actually from Rhode Island, and Klein was raised in New York City.
A few traditional instrumentals are sprinkled in to show off the pair's impressive guitar and mandolin work, and Albert E. Brumley's "I'd Rather Live By The Side Of The Road" is an excellent choice for the sole sacred number. The pair also takes a couple interesting side paths as well. “Enferment Les Yeux” is a French song that hearkens back to their non-bluegrass classical training, and “It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie” has a vaudevillian swing to it unlike any other tune on the album.
In spite of a lack of standout songs, Home From The Mills is a thoroughly delightful album from beginning to end. And also despite the fact that the songs feature two instruments and duo or trio vocals, they have a deceptively full sound. For a solid album front to back with some beautiful folk/traditional sound, this is one to get.