Penguin Eggs

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:03

Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms

Written by Barry Hammond
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Innocent Road (West Sound Music)

There’s no need for elaborate phrases to sing the praises of this duo. Their music is stripped down, old-time country, deceptively simple in the way Hank Williams was “simple”. 

Caleb Klauder is originally from Orcas Island, WA, and Reeb Willms from Waterville, WA, but they now live in Portland, OR. Their voices blend beautifully and have that direct, straight-out quality with passion and feeling that the best singers always have. 

Caleb writes the songs but mixes his own with some classics from the pens of such greats as Buck Owens, George Jones, Bud Deckleman, and Paul Burch, but you’d need the song credits to tell which is which, so seamless is the blend. You’d think you were listening to a disc recorded from 1930-1955 except for the sound quality. The other players are top-notch as well, especially Sam Weiss on fiddle and Ned Folkerth keeping time on the drums, though pedal steel player Rusty Blake is no slouch, either. 

If you love old-time country, you’ll love this. Like this disc, that’s as honest as it gets.

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