Currituck, Co. - Sleepwalks In The Garden Of The Dead Room

Liam McGrady 21/03/2005

Rating: 4/5

Currituck Co. is essentially a one man band, that one man being Kevin Barker. Taking influences from traditional folk, Americana and bluegrass, Barker conjures up deft finger picked melodies and delicate acoustic led tunes full of warmth and rustic charm.

'Paid For Grace' starts proceedings with a strange wailing noise that gives way to some magical finger picked guitaring and an oriental tinkling sound you'd expect to hear in a Japanese garden. It all comes across as kind of spiritual, especially in lyrical terms, “Make another stand to quiet the winds in your mind/Search for incisive light in this foggiest of times” and you really could 'lose yourself' in the beauty of this record.

Leaving the Far East vibe behind, Barker slips into more familiar territory with the alt-Country styling of 'Sleepwalking I' and 'Run Away From The Sun'. The first of these being tinged with classical sounding pianos and sweeping cello's and wistful thought's that life's past you by, “Sleepwalking through my years, forgetting why I'm here.” Still with the flawless finger picking as the base, 'Run Away From The Sun' continues the Country leanings but with more of a folk influenced arrangement.

The standout song on this album is the rambling 'Wisdom Of The Weeks'. To describe this track as understated would be an understatement. Silky guitar lines melt into softly brushed percussion, tin whistles make the sound of twittering larks on a bright spring morning and I lie on the floor, tuned in, turned on and dropped out - lost in the strange brew of psychedelic folk.

'Sleepwalks In The Garden Of The Dead Room' is a rare beauty of an album, and in these days of high technology shows that traditional instruments and strong melody can still sound vital and fresh.

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