Monday, February 13, 2012

CD Review: “The Alialujah Choir”


The Alialujah Choir


Don’t be put off by the band, and albums, name. This is not church music….but maybe it should be…..

I hadn’t heard this Portland band before, and I couldn’t let any musicians with cross my home ground without giving them a listen. I am spectacularly glad I did, because what you find here, in their self titled album, is their love for roots folk music has created a beautiful and compelling work . The harmonies, which reach sacred heights,  harken back to some of the giants that have graced the folk music scene since the late ‘50s. Less pop orientated than Peter Paul and Mary. The group is more evocative of the Seekers, at least to my ear.

“The Alialujah Choir is Adam Shearer and Alia Farah of Weinland, and Adam Selzer of Norfolk & Western and M. Ward.The album echoes the sincerity of the the band’s origin. Shearer, Selzer and Farah began writing and recording songs at Portland’s Type Foundry with no commercial ambitions. They simply wanted to take shelter from the chaos of touring and make music together.”

The songs presented here are wonderful in and of themselves, but the harmonies this trio attain lift the melodies to a meditative state of grace that is aimed for but seldom achieved.

A House A Home (trailer) from The Alialujah Choir on Vimeo.

It’s truly amazing what can happen when the passion for music is allowed to step to the forefront and any commercial ambitions, or desires to serve any master but the muse is shelved.

The songs here are filled with emotion, truths, humanity, and an openness that is both startling and welcome.  Selzer’s skill as a producer and sound engineer at Type Foundry are gaining notice in the world of music. He has recorded The Decemberists, M. Ward, Peter Broderick, Laura Gibson, Minus 5, and recently Robert Deeble, who was recently reviewed on these pages. typefoundrystudio_Studio1

The album will be released tomorrow, Valentines day  and can be pre-ordered on Amazon by following this link: The Alialujah Choir.

It is a breath of fresh air when you hear a work that features no ego, no affectations or licentiousness. What you do get is a shared passion for making music, and a devotion to the songs. This is a debut album that bodes well for these three artist.

alailujah choir


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Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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