Helena’s David Casey, he of Watercarvers’ Guild fame of old, has crafted another dreamy album with his wife Deidre. They call the effort “symphonic indie-folk”; the singer-songwriters’ work mines various facets of acoustic pop, and David plays no less than 12 instruments, while Deidre adds vocals and percussion, sometimes in harmony, other times in a tight duet with her husband.
The duo is joined by Katie Beckman, cello; Josh Loveland, pedal steel and horns; Luke Michelson, violin and string bass; Jeremy Slead, drums; and Nathan Casey on electric bass and pennywhistle. Other family members and friends add to certain cuts. So yes, it’s symphonic, and the sound is pretty and refined throughout, with squeaky-clean production, a hallmark of the Caseys’ work.
The title tune, “Little Fox Little Bird,” has a children’s folktale feel, with its bubbling waterfall ambience, evoked by David’s silky mandolin. The strings flow behind David and Deidre’s well-meshed harmony lead. Very appealing!
“Touch of Gold” has a bluesy unison riff, with snappy banjo from David, as the cello plays a neat bass line in the background. “Did you point up to the sky, pick yourself a nice cloud to ride, leaping from epiphany to epiphany?” Casey asks, in his pleasant baritone with wisps of Dan Fogleberg’s tenor. He reassures us that everything will be all right as the song gets syncopated. It’s a tune that reveals deep faith – a sentiment displayed throughout the album – but it’s not preachy.
“Bring Back My Camel” is fun! It’s mostly instrumental, save for some raucous “Hey ya’s!” from the singers. It’s got an exotic Klezmer aura, and Casey’s grasp of chord structure is inventive.
Visit the band at davidcaseymusic.com.
– Mariss McTucker