The Idaho Falls

Concrete Prairie

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Given songwriter Raymond Richards' work with Hope Sandoval, Mojave 3, Acetone, and Lisa Germano, the country-rock on Concrete Prairie is expected. It's the tenure from the other members that may throw you off: pedal steel guitarist Greg Vincent recorded with Cake, drummer Roger Brogan is from Frausdots, and guitarist Kevin Feyen comes from Black Eyed Peas. Nonetheless, the Idaho Falls cherish classic country, and couldn't capture it any better. The Los Angeles sextet, led by the tender vocals of Heather Goldberg and Richards, has roots in Gram Parsons, Hank Williams, and Emmylou Harris, while touching on bluegrass and honky tonk. Like the first album, Concrete Prairie contains instrumental interludes that could stand on their own ("As Remembered" is particularly stunning). The songwriting, from the harmonies of "Dead Horse" to the resourcefulness of the title track (which, at the midpoint, shifts from country-folk to neo-psychedelia), shows ample maturity. It's a knowing ode to Western works, while setting a standard for today's country-fied indie bands.

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