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Album review: 'The Crooked North' 

The Crooked North

"The Crooked North"

Self-released

thecrookednorth.com

Local Americana band The Crooked North's self-titled debut album is a rootsy tapestry of heartfelt songs that sound better with each subsequent listen. Mike Brown's production is flawless, giving the music an added fullness and warmth that is paradoxically chill-inducing.

The tender, balladeering track "Where We Are" showcases the resonant, lilting harmonies of husband and wife duo Ben and Rita Proctor (playing banjo and mandolin, respectively); and the uplifting everyman anthem "Till I Hit Water" finds guitarist Jon Itkin spitting grittier, countrified vocals over a backdrop of highly danceable bluegrass.

If you wish Nickel Creek had stuck to the more traditional sounds from its early, self-titled album, the folksy, Itkin-fronted "River Colorado" and the wistful "Foolish Builder" (led by Ben Proctor) should satisfy. Devotees of Alison Krauss and Union Station will have plenty to sink their teeth into as well.  

The Crooked North will play a CD release party on Friday, June 16, at the Record Archive (33 1/3 Rockwood Street). The band will be joined by mandolinist Perry Cleaveland, and Mike Brown will play an opening set. 8 p.m. $5 suggested donation. recordarchive.com.

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