Straw Family review…January 8, 2018….

STRAW FAMILY

FAMILY MATTERS

ALIVE–1965–HOT SUNNY DAY–IT’S COLD OUTSIDE–BANG BANG–I HOPE–FAMILY AND FRIENDS–TO A HIGHER PLACE–DREAMING

As one listens to the latest from the Denmark-based Straw Family, entitled “Family Matters,” it will no doubt remind you of the days when the singers made the songs.  The family members, on both lead and backing vocals, are Sally, Carsten, Henriette and Denise Fabricius, with Helge Solberg on bass, Carsten Milner on drums, Frederik Nordvang on guitars.  That sweet family harmony is the common thread that connects all these originals, and, for us, was reminiscent of   groups going back to The Partridge Family and Fleetwood Mac, “Big Yellow Taxi”-era Joni Mitchell, and moving forward to Wilson Phillips, and, even the Haim sisters on today’s contemporary scene.

“Alive” kicks things off, set over a rocked-up beat that finds our heroine proclaiming that, altho times might be tough in the love arena, “at least “I’m Alive!”  “1965,” with it’s tale of living in “paradise” has more of a country-rock vibe, while “Family And Friends” embodies not only the spirit of this group and this album, it also seems to urge us all to find our happy place.

The family does take some more interesting looks at love and relationships.   The rather funky “Hot Sunny Day” is a metaphor for what it is like “every time you’re not here to comfort me,” while “It’s Cold Outside” marches to its own beat as our heroine bemoans “last night, you left my life.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Bang Bang” is the set’s bluesiest cut, while “To A Higher Place” has a cool, Ronstadt/Stone Ponies groove going on, as the virtues of a special lover are extolled.

This is a brilliant debut from the Straw Family.  Their unique use of  harmonies that come straight from the heart make it clear with this set that “Family Matters!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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