Seznec Bros

Jagged Land

(Captain Pouch)

Cory Seznec, who'll be familiar to Americana followers over here through his tours with the Groanbox Boys, joins his Edinburgh-based brother Yann on a collection mostly comprising songs that, although recorded in London, Annapolis, Paris and Scotland, sound as if they've been distilled in a log cabin in the deepest Ozarks. It would be a cabin with its radio tuned to African, Caribbean and jazz stations but from the brothers' spirited opening shuffle through the traditional Arkansas Sheik (with its rustic images of cornbread, molasses and sassafras tea) to the calypso-flavoured instrumental closer, Four Acre Field, this is rootsy fare with the charm and understated sophistication of Ry Cooder's early albums. The presence of Mother's Last Word To Her Son by Texan Washington Phillips, whose gospel songs Cooder also championed, underlines the Cooder connection while Yann's Sugar In Her Coffee and Cory's Chop It Up suggest singers and songwriters with the tradition in their hearts and enjoyably individual ways of taking it forward.

Rob Adams