The Foreign Landers are a musical duo consisting of husband and wife, David and Tabitha Benedict. As evidenced in their first full length release, Travelers Rest, the pair are adept at playing, singing, and writing songs within multiple genres. All but one of the ten tracks are originals written by the Foreign Landers.
The opening track, Traveler, gets things off to a smooth start. Tabitha’s vocals particularly stand out on this piece about longing for a place to rest and call home. Tabitha is also featured playing three finger style banjo and guitar. David provides mandolin, bass, and backing vocals for this track.
Waves falls into the singer/songwriter camp. Although electric guitar is provided by Ethan Ballinger and snare drum is played by David, these two instruments don’t take away from the overall acoustic feel, but rather complements the performances and the lyrics which explore the complexities of emotion.
Johnny’s Peacock/The Red-Tailed Hawk is an instrumental track firmly planted in Irish and Celtic roots. Featuring Brian Finnegan on tin whistle, Cathal Murphy on bodhran, and John Doyle on guitar, this piece is one of the most authentic tracks on the album.
On the other side of the coin, Flying Back To You falls firmly in the bluegrass camp. With solid fiddling from Brittany Haas and harmony vocals from Reuben Agnew, it’s clear that the Foreign Landers are well versed in that genre.
We’ll Be Fine contains elements of country music with great pedal steel guitar playing from Karl Smakula, as well as snare drumming from Stephen Benedict. This song has a great message about being content, no matter what the circumstances are in a particular moment or time.
Although Sunny Side of the Mountain is the only track not originally written by the Foreign Landers, the duo put a really unique spin on it. With beautiful clawhammer banjo playing from Tabitha, the couple has arranged it with new lyrics from the perspective of a couple singing it to each other. The Benedicts have completely made it their own.
Garden is a song which discusses settling down and finding somewhere to call home. Once again featuring Brittany Haas on fiddle, this track takes on a smooth old-timey feel.
Travelers Rest is an eclectic mix of musical styles and lyrical themes. Tabitha and David have captured the essence of what making music is about. Not only are The Foreign Landers presenting great performances with their instruments and voices, but also rich material that any listener can relate to on their own personal level.