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The Be Good Tanyas


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Neo-traditional folk

Status:

Most recent release, A Collection (compilation, 2012); most recent release of new material,Hello Love (2006)

See also:

The Be Good Tanyas site

Comparisons:

Erin McKeown (vocally), a bit like Three Sheets to the Wind? The All Music Guide mentions Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Caitlin Cary, and Victoria Williams as comparisons. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Own and traditional

General comments:

Alt-country traditionals and originals from a Canadian trio. Highly recommended for any people who love contemporary or traditional folk/Americana (JoAnn.Whetsell

I keep going back and forth on which album I like better. I definitely recommend their first record Blue Horse for those who haven't heard them, but their newer Chinatown is also well done. (jamie@jalessio.com)

Comments about live performance:

The buzz has been on the Be Good Tanyas, a Canadian trio. I really like their recorded work, but found them to be a somewhat low energy live group. I liked their set, but wasn't wowed like I expected to be. I later found that they put a lot more energy into dancing than they do to performing :) (neal)

I caught a Be Good Tanyas concert in San Francisco last month. The Tanyas were joined on stage by one of their founding members, Jolie Holland, who now lives in San Francisco. I've been a fan since of the Tanyas since I happened to catch one of their songs on a webcast and have been waiting anxiously for their arrival at a local venue.
     No complaints about their live sound—it was close enough to the recordings to be familiar and keep the crowd engaged but different enough to sound "live". Their stage presence wasn't the greatest (lots of down-time between songs...a pet peeve of mine) but it didn't detract from the show too much. A few friends of mine commented that they played too long but I didn't get that feeling, even with a three-act bill. (4/03, jamie@jalessio.com)

Recommended first album:

Blue Horse

Recordings:


Blue Horse

Release info:

2002—Nettwerk—0 6700 30245 2 5

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Frazey Ford—guitar, vocals
Samantha Parton—guitar, mandolin, banjo (1), vocals
Trish Klein—electric guitar, banjo, harmony vocals (9, 12)

Guest artists:

Jolie Holland—vocals (1, 4), harmonies (5, 7, 11), fiddle (5, 7, 8, 11), guitar (1, 4)
Mathieu Gagne—electric violin (6), fiddle (1)
Andrew Burden—double bass
Paul Clifford—drums
Brendan Ostrander—drums (3, 6, 9, 12)

Comments:

A fun, new sound somewhere between bluegrass and...I don't know what. Great harmonies, lots of fun. (jjhanson@att.net)

Beautiful! I love how they make even "Oh Susanna"—a song I've heard so many times I hardly think about it as a song anymore—sound so fresh. The rest of the album is equally good, something I love so much I find it hard to describe why. Go listen! (JoAnn Whetsell)


Chinatown

Release info:

2003—Nettwerk—0 6700 30311 2 7

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Frazey Ford—guitar, mandolin (2), vocals, harmonies
Samantha Parton—guitar, mandolin, ukulele, piano (5), vocals, harmonies
Trish Klein—electric guitar, banjo, acoustic guitar (9), mandolin (12), harmonica, harmonies

Guest artists:

Andrew Burden—double bass
Glenn "Ike" Edisness—drums
Olu Dara—cornet (3, 13)
Paul Clifford—drums (5)
Jolie Holland—fiddle (10), harmonies (5 & 10)
Aaron Chapman—saw (5)
Ketch Secor—fiddle (7)
Doug Thordarson—five-string viola & violin (5)
Roey Shemesh—double bass (1), bowed bass (5), fretless bass (4)
Diane Williams—harmonies (14)
Martin Green—accordion (12)

Comments:

Another wonderful album from the Tanyas though somewhat more melancholy than their first. (JoAnn.Whetsell

One of the best of 2003. (jsutton@hrmusic.com)

A wonderful blend of traditional folk, alt-folk with a hint of traditional country. Also the album has a nifty cover of "House of the Rising Sun." (wdalberty@charter.net)


Hello Love

Release info:

2006—Nettwerk Records—30416-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sam Parton—acoustic guitar (3, 4, 8), mandolin, banjo (2, 8), piano, vocals, harmony vocals
Trish Klein—acoustic guitar (2, 6, 9, 13), electric guitar, banjo, harmonica, harmony vocals
Frazey Ford—guitar (1, 7, 11), vocals, harmony vocals

Guest artists:

John Raham—drums
Mark Beaty—upright bass, cello (10)
Ike Eidsness—drums (5, 12)
Mike August—drums (6, 13)
Josh Thurston—bass (6, 13)
Simon Kendall—wurlitzer (6), Hammond (11)
Jesse Zubot—fiddle (11)
Jolie Holland—vocals (8)
Willie Watson (Old CrowMedicine Show)—guitar (5, 12)
Ketch Secor (Old CrowMedicine Show)—fiddle, mandolin (5, 12)
Kevin Hayes (Old CrowMedicine Show)—gitjo (5, 12)
Gill Landry (Old CrowMedicine Show)—dobro (5, 12)
Morgan Jahnig (Old CrowMedicine Show)—upright bass (5, 12)

Produced by:

The Be Good Tanyas (John Raham co-produced track 1)

Comments:

I loved Blue Horse but took a while to warm up to Chinatown. Now along comes Hello Love, which might be the Tanyas' finest album yet. They're carving out a distinctive sound, in between the brightness of their first album and the melancholy of their second. There's a certain intensity, or edge, that I haven't heard from them before. I could have done without the cover of "When Doves Cry" (surprisingly, I rather like the instrumental on that one, and actually the song has grown on me), but other than that, this is 5 stars all the way. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

The Be Good Tanyas' songs appear on several compilation albums. Two songs are only available on compilations: "Opal's Blues" (Because of Winn-Dixie soundtrack) and "Rudy" (Maybe This Christmas Too and A Winter's Night: The Best of Nettwerk Christmas).


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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