Moving Up Country

James Yorkston / James Yorkston & the Athletes

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Moving Up Country Review

by Chris Nickson

Moving up Country might not warrant the extravagant praise heaped on it by the up-and-down English music press, but it's certainly an album that stands out. Its lazy, meandering songs, mixing English folk and American country, sound fitfully out of place in the modern world, hearkening back far more to the hippie sensibilities (both musical and lyrical) of the late '60s or early '70s. But the ramshackle charm catches right from the opener, "In Your Hands," and though it lets up a bit on the more up-tempo material, it never vanishes completely. Yorkston himself has more than a touch of Ray Davies in his voice, although his writing style is much less succinct and witty, tending toward rambling thoughts over repeating chord structures with a fairly organic backing (i.e., no programming involved). Maybe part of its appeal is that everything old becomes new again, or maybe it's just happy coincidence, but the album is a small pleasure, a lovely way to pass a slow, sunny afternoon.

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