Cahalen Morrison & Eli West – The Holy Coming of the Storm
I’ve been listening to Cahalen Morrison & Eli West’s new album, The Holy Coming of the Storm, almost nonstop for better than a week and was planning to post a review before their hardworking promoter, Devon at Hearth Music, contacted me and all I have to say is, it’s sheer perfection. A genius blend of old-time and bluegrass music with fine harmonies, expertly played clawhammer banjo and perfectly picked guitar. I can guarantee the world hasn’t seen nor heard this kind of musical kinship and musicianship since Flatt & Scruggs.
Being born and raised in West Virginia and spending some of my childhood in the Allegheny mountains of Virginia it’s hard for me to believe that these boys are from Seattle because this album honestly feels like home to me. I grew up believing that this kind of natural, earthy music only came from the deep recesses of dark mountain hollers in the authentic Appalachians where most of the American music traditions began. Well, Morrison & West have proven me wrong with their reverence for the genre and traditions which shows throughout the album.
There aren’t just a couple or a few highlights on The Holy Coming of the Storm, instead the album is nothing but standouts, so I’ll only mention a few of my favorites. Morrison’s rolling clawhammer banjo and West’s scattered guitar riffs buoyantly drive “My Lover, Adorned” despite its wistful lyrics, while the melancholic longing for a roaming lover is only enhanced by the touched instrumentals of the mandolin, guitar, and fiddle in “Fleeting Like The Days.” The acapella in “My Bloody Heart” shows-off the boys’ excellent vocals and awesome harmonies. And, “Over There” is wonderfully old-fashioned, the true sound of the mountains with quicksilver instrumentals and a Bill Monroe inflection.
I reckon these west coast fellas have a little bit of Appalachia in their souls, because listening to The Holy Coming of the Storm brought real joy to this girl’s heart. The sincere respect they have given this music by showcasing its rural simplicities and complexities make this an outstanding album that every old-time music and bluegrass aficionado should have in their collection.
— April Wolfe @ Common Folk Music
09 – Over There – Cahalen Morrison & Eli West by commonfolkmusic
04 – Fleeting Like The Days – Cahalen Morrison & Eli West by commonfolkmusic