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Lac La Belle - A Friend Too Long

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When Nick Schillace sings "Spoils Like Venom," a tale from the times when the railroads were being built, you can tell there's more to the story than what comes out in the lyrics. Schillace has a voice that bleeds weariness, and with the song playing out to just forlorn acoustic guitar and foreboding cello it sounds like something that would be on the soundtrack to an episode of Hell on Wheels, perhaps set to a montage of scenes where things go disastrously wrong. And that's the beauty of A Friend Too Long; the words are important but the way they are sung is more important. Schillace's partner in Lac La Belle is Jennie Knaggs, a one-time "hollerin'" champ from Virginia, and she too has mastered the art of nuance, especially noticeable on "The Border" where her vocals, chipper here and there, belie the overall sadness of the song. Many but not all of the songs here have a cowboy or western flavor to them and while the arrangements are not old-timey, this well-crafted material would have been quite comfortable 100-years ago, in the era it often evokes.

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Lac La Belle - A Friend Too Long
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