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Music Review: A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart by Black Prairie

Artist: Black Prairie

Title: A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart

Sugar Hill, 2012

A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart is the current release from Portland, Oregon’s Black Prairie.

Black Prairie is comprised of 3/5 of The Decemberists (Chris Funk, Nate Query, and Jenny Conlee) along with Jon Neufield and Annalisa Tornfelt.  Shreve Memorial Library offers three albums from The Decemberists in case you are not familiar with their music.  However, Black Prairie is a completely different band and sound. 

Americana-fusion is how I would best describe this album. Mixing elements of bluegrass, jazz, klezmer, and folk, the originality of Black Prairie is both refreshing and creative. Acoustic guitar, dobro, accordion, and violin comprise most of the instrumentation heard throughout the album, and the playing is phenomenal! Each and every instrument shines throughout. My personal favorite is the violin and vocal performance of Tornfelt.

I immediately knew I would enjoy this album when I saw the song title “For the Love of John Hartford”. Sure enough, this instrumental named for the late, great master of Americana music is a perfect tribute. Another song entitled “Richard Manuel” respectfully pays homage to the late multi-instrumentalist of The Band.

You can find this album at the Belcher, Cedar Grove/Line Avenue, and Main libraries. Check it out or place a hold today.

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