Wild Carrot,
(Falling Mountain, 2003)

Cincinnati-based duo Pamela Temple and Spencer Funk call themselves Wild Carrot and categorize their music as contemporary folk. Their music will also appeal to country fans who like a more acoustic sound than you are likely to find on the major labels these days, especially as the many different instruments featured include mandolin, dobro and banjo. Of course, the actual instruments used on each track vary but production values are a cut above the average for an independent label, and the booklet contains lyrics of all their self-penned songs (but not the covers of other people's songs) and plenty of photos that clearly show how happy they are. A major label could not have done any better.

Despite their apparent happiness, most of their original songs are sad, although I didn't realize just how sad until I studied the lyrics. "Real Love," for instance, is about a couple who lack just that. "Bitter Blood" is about the consequences of a break-up, while "Bringing on the Rain" is about missing a loved one. In "Tracks," a woman looks out of her window, sees trains passing by and dreams of going on to a better place, but somehow never does. "Lay Me Down" is about coming to terms with the death of a loved one. "Hero" taps into the realization that a hero is human after all. "Devil's Rain" is about a happy couple who died separately. "These Songs" is more cheerful, looking at one person's discovery of folk music.

This is an outstanding collection of contemporary folk music.

- Rambles
written by Peter D. Harris
published 24 January 2004

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