Imagine an Americana band out of Brooklyn that was produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel and you'd probably picture something a lot bigger and more raucous sounding than Martin's Folly, even though that description accurately describes the facts behind the group's self-titled debut album. A couple of spins of Martin's Folly suggests a looser and less self-conscious East Coast version of the Jayhawks; the tunes (mostly by singer and guitarist Chris Gray and keyboard man Jim Duffy) have a warm, folky tone that doesn't dissipate when the amps get turned up, the performances boast a quietly passionate homespun resonance, and songs like the witty "T.V. Song" and the party-in-progress semi-instrumental "I Heard That" help balance out the more somber mood of cuts such as "Scary Mary" and "You're Not Welcome to My Home No More." If something short of life-altering, Martin's Folly certainly presents a promising group to its advantage, and for a self-financed and released debut, this album is both ambitious and quite accomplished.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming