Palmer T.Lee – THE SACRED HEART SESSIONS
1 December 2015 CD Reviews
Palmer T. Lee was 19-years-old when he inherited two old banjos and he has gone on to build them into his life and career. Teaming up with Kendl Winter they have developed a sound based on the duel picking of those two instruments that, when joined by soft, folk harmonies, is an intriguing package. THE SACRED HEART SESSIONS is the follow-up album to 36c, which they toured for a year playing in clubs, hotels, house shows, back yards and street corners. The unique voice of Kendl has a fragility that’s met with Palmer’s folk sound to create an old-time sound that is utterly unique. And, of course, the banjos are always brought along as the stars of the show. At times it seems the instruments are working alongside each other and, then at others, they are almost raging into competition to create a fast, rolling sound. Fourth Time’s A Charm sounds like it comes directly off the front porch of a Midwestern homestead, with Palmer working the lead, and Kendl joining him on one of the most unusual choruses that has to be heard to be understood, as their voices replicate the sounds of their quick banjos. The instrument has certainly found a home here where it can be showcased to its full potential and will delight fans of old-style country and bluegrass. The songs do tend to sound a bit similar by the time you near the middle of the album, but it’s clear they’ve never once strayed from their clear vision, which shows its authenticity and humble origins. It’s a very bare bones and traditional sound of days gone by, and with a nod to the old banjo-playing traditions of Americana. That’s something to be admired and fostered, and these two are working hard to do just that.