The word "elegiac" is not one that often comes to mind when reviewing an album, but if any deserve to be described that way, Angels of the Mission Trail is certainly one. A loose cycle of songs centered on California, the album most immediately suggests an earnest folkie outing. That impression blows away like fairy frost almost instantly, and from there the album is simply captivating. Both Doug McArthur and Jeffra are excellent, practiced performers, teamed here with players such as percussionist Joe Craven, with result being a wonderful collection of songs with a romantic ambience and an embracing warmth. Angels on the Mission Trail evokes California's checkered past very nicely, from the missions to Jack London to the gold rush, all without hammering home the moral points. These are beautifully written songs that bear up well under repeated listening.
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