Feast of the Hunters' Moon (Sugar Hill)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 21, 2010
Black PrairieFeast of the Hunters' Moon (Sugar Hill)
If you think you've heard it all, Black Prairie could prove you wrong. From Portland, Ore., and featuring three Decemberists, the quintet's music wends from cinematic to newgrass, Eastern European klezmer to ghostly folk – with a touch of the Decemberists' theatrical pop. Except for a handful of tunes sung by violinist Annalisa Tornfelt, most of Feast of the Hunters' Moon is instrumental, which the ensemble performs with majestic confidence. The moods jump around, but the music always demonstrates a scuffed luster that's endearing. "Atrocity at Celilo Falls" is movie soundtrack in waiting, while the lighthearted "Home Made Lemonade" is as close to bluegrass as a fiddle tune with an accordion break can get. Recommended to fans of Sarah Jarosz, who Black Prairie backed during South by Southwest 2010, and those missing the adventurous early days of Calexico.