On its second album, Brother’s Bear has created an honest work of art any fan of folk is sure to appreciate. Acoustic melodies, vocal harmonies and thoughtful lyrics abound on “Walking Each Other Home,” the latest project by the Baton Rouge quartet.
The heartfelt collection of Americana and folk was written by the band’s founding members James McCann and Joshua Brumley with support from upright bassist Nelson Williams and cellist Guillermo Quiros.
The new record projects intimacy on tracks such as “Bobby Joan Lewis,” a dedication to McCann’s grandmother and a heartfelt hymn for the homesick.
The track “Tennessee” nods to bluegrass with banjo, fiddle and a quick tempo, and the vocal harmony between Brumley and McCann makes it a contender for most impressive song on the album. Meanwhile, Brother’s Bear embraces one of folk’s oldest themes on “Prayer,” a spiritual ballad accented by classic piano accompaniment.
“Home” further demonstrates how gifted the multi-instrumentalists in Brother’s Bear are. On top of the band’s trademark acoustic guitar and banjo, the track includes bits of harmonica and an organ suited for a country church house.
Brumley shines as a songbird on the somber serenade titled “West.” The track builds slowly on sparse acoustic noodling, incorporating lap steel guitar and a heavenly choir of voices from all four musicians. “West” also offers some of the collection’s most reflective lyrics.
“What is this life if not sorrow and a road back to somewhere you know?” Brumley wonders on the opening verse.
“Walking Each Other Home” is both a road trip record and a return to roots, awakening the wandering soul and calling it home all at the same time.
More on Brother's Bear can be found at brothersbear.com.