Rayna Gellert and Kieran Kane reconnect once again for what may well be their most affecting effort yet. Their dedication to traditional form is apparent throughout, courtesy of minimalist approach that focuses wholly on vocals, guitar, banjo, and fiddle, while still exuding the emotions and enthusiasm that gives the material the emphasis it deserves.
Rayna earned her stripes in old time, as the fiddler with popular string bands The Freight Hoppers and Uncle Earl, while Kieran made his bones as a singer/songwriter on the country side with the O’Kanes.
Clearly, Kane and Gellert’s love of bluegrass and old time music, with all their purity and purpose, is evident throughout. The jaunty Bailout Blues and a reflective Lonely Are the Brave make that clear from the beginning, but the sentiments shift throughout, from the upbeat and effusive instrumental I Thought You Were a Goat #1, through the reflection and repast of Please Help Me, I’m Falling, The Only Thing Worth Savin’, and Lonely Are the Brave. The pair’s ability to share that evocative imagery is all the more striking, considering the fact that the songs sound as if they were hewn from back porch melodies and then rebooted with the honesty and integrity they so decidedly deserve.
It’s to Gellert and Kane’s credit that they manage to keep that impression intact sans the need for any outside accoutrements. Ironwood (You’re Mine) and Back Where We Belong demonstrate that drive and dexterity are frequently spawned from pure intent, as well as the taste and talent to pull it off. The two have long since proven their ability in that regard, both on their own and as contributors to the albums of others. Here again, The Golden Ticket proves the point that often, all it takes is a knowing perspective to lead to remarkable results.
Ultimately, The Flowers That Bloom In Spring comes across as an album flush with archival inspiration, unhindered by modern trappings or the need for posturing or pretense. In this case, simplicity and sincerity reign supreme, giving these flowers the fresh fragrance of energy and optimism.