The Grisly Hand
This band is way better than the unpromising name would suggest. Their songs are clever and well-crafted, their musicianship crisp and practiced, and their style wanders over the hills and dales of Alt Country and Americana.
Let's open with my favorite cut, "Rude Gambler." A rollicking piano backs up the raspy and suspicious voice of Lauren Krum, and the track details the aftermath of an adulterous affair with the wrong woman. It's everything I'm looking for in light, bar-room entertainment. Lead track "Amusia" slows down and adds a pedal steel, nicely depressing and bluesy, a vocal duet of a man and a woman who long ago lost the duet of togetherness. Another break up number with a classic country gag title "(If Your Leavin') Take the Trash Out When You Go." is fueled by a speedy mandolin and a wronged woman and all you can do is be happy it's not aimed at you (or is it?). "Blind Horse" comes close to a classic piano concerto, it's not as complicated as Grieg or anyone like him, but Krum's voice is cabaret plaintive and heart tugging as she wails "You'll never be my everything, but you're sure something."
There's a dark feel toward love here. it's not that The Grisly Hand rules it out; they just know it's not likely to last very long, and that's why the music is so good.