Seth Eames, Two Moons Pullin' Down On Me | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Seth Eames, Two Moons Pullin' Down On Me 

Album Review

cdreview-eames.jpg

(Self-released, CD)

Seth Eames, half of Vermont’s favorite “mountain blues” sons The Eames Brothers, returns with Two Moons Pullin’ Down on Me, the followup to his 2006 solo debut, Train Goes By. Fans of his collaborations with brother Ralph will no doubt find plenty to like; the disc fairly roils with bluesy Delta grit. But Seth Eames’ talents run deeper than the swamps from which he draws his primary inspiration. With help from sonic provocateur Michael Chorney, he disturbs those murky, slow-moving waters and emerges with an album churning with dark mystery.

A nimbly lilting acoustic guitar introduces album opener “I Been Down.” The tune — and the disc — possesses a comfortingly familiar, melancholic quality doubly enhanced by Eames’ hollow-bodied vocal delivery. Simultaneously ragged and rich in tone, he bends pronunciations in his lyrics as if each word is just another string on his guitar. The effect is chilling, particularly when he repeats the baleful refrain that gives the album its name: “Got them two moons, they’re pullin’ down on me.” Muddy Waters, meet Nick Drake.

On the punchy “Bottle O Wine,” Eames deftly invokes boozy backwoods ennui. “If the river was whiskey and I was a stone / I’d sink to the bottom, feel right at home. / But the river ain’t whiskey and I’m just a man / tryin’ to do the best I can,” he laments. On the whole, Eames relies on fairly rudimentary wordsmithing. But coupled with his visceral delivery, that simplicity is effective and refreshing.

Chorney’s influence on the album is subtle but potent. The Magic City honcho and frequent Anaïs Mitchell collaborator recorded, mixed and mastered the album. He also chips in guitar, baritone sax, bass and keyboard tracks. His contributions to the disc’s fifth cut, “Everybody’s Got a Story,” are particularly notable, enhancing the tune’s sly ethereal qualities with feather-light dexterity.

That the blues informs Seth Eames’ approach is undeniable. But to call Two Moons Pullin’ Down on Me an “acoustic blues” album is to tell but a small part of the story. Too often, “blues-inspired” artists gracelessly twist the genre’s timeworn idioms into milquetoast approximations — looking at you, John Mayer. But Eames weaves a vibrant musical tapestry rich in style, all the while preserving the integrity of his favored roots with dexterity and reverence.

Catch Seth Eames this Friday, October 24, at Burlington’s Radio Bean.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Bio:
Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor and also edits What's Good, the annual city guide to Burlington. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his coverage of the arts, music, sports and culture. He loves dogs, dark beer and the Boston Red Sox... more

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation