Up the Country

The Sixth Great Lake

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Up the Country Review

by Tyson Bjorge

If you're going to change styles, you might as well go all the way and change your name too. The Sixth Great Lake is actually the Essex Green whose Everything Is Green showed the psychedelic side of the group while on Up the Country the Sixth Great Lake turns to folkier roots replacing Surrealistic Pillow with influences like the Band's self-titled album and Neil Young's Comes a Time. The mellow tone for the album is set with the opening track, "Duck Pond," which features exceptional harmonies and a slow catchy melody. "Sasha Bell" assumes lead vocal duties on "Across the Northern Border" and "Last in Line" and delivers beautiful old-school folk-style singing on both, much like on Everything Is Green. The tempo picks up just a touch on "Cannon Beach," but slows back down on "Descending Star." The group openly acknowledges its influences throughout the album, especially on "Last in Line" and "Blue" giving, respectively, a musical and lyrical nod to Johnny Cash. The cover of the Band's "Rockin' Chair" is another highlight of the record.

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