Flat Mountain Girls

| July 19, 2007

Flat Mountain Girls

Idle Talk & Wicked Deeds

self-released

Nothing’s out of bounds for the Flat Mountain Girls. The quartet, which took first place at last year’s Northwest String Summit band contest, belts out ripping versions of mostly classic string favorites on their third self-released album. But it’s not strictly limited to traditional old-time standards. 

While the album features covers of songs by the Carter Family, Charlie Poole and the Bristol Brothers, it soars when the girls jump ahead a few decades to cover Sarah Hawker’s “Forgiveness” and try their hands at the blues with a powerful version of Robert Johnson’s “All My Love in Vain.”

The ladies take turns singing lead throughout the album, each giving a different vibe to different tracks. From the deep, twangy voice of banjo player Rachel Gold to the sugary and youthful country crooning of guitar and mandolin player Nann Alleman, the sounds are mostly sweet, though the occasional high-pitched holler can make you wince.

Besides the tight harmonies and spirited fiddling of their albums, what’s most fun about this band is its energetic and comic live performances, often involving clogging, and the fact that they aren’t afraid to let out a good yodel when the moment seems right.

The Flat Mountain Girls play the Top Hat Thursday, July 26, at 9 PM. Cover TBA. Call 728-9865.

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