Adversary is a progression and maturation of the exciting acoustic sound from SalemSpeaks. Energy and cohesiveness of the musical interaction are captured through the creation of fiddle melodies and breaks, vocal harmonies and rhythmic energy by the talent of recording engineer and producer Mitch Easter at the Fidelitorium Studio.
The songs on the CD demonstrate the versatility and talents of the band and its members. The poetry of the lyrics combines with the unique acoustic music to create a firm foundation for the backdrop of the story behind each of the songs. The CD opens with “Sweep the Dirt”- a soulful song with driving fiddle and drum interplay that creates an image of being released from shackles and set free. The CD continues with “California,” a song where Zach Britt demonstrates the roots of the band in the mountain music tradition. “Adversary” is the title track from the CD. This song is characterized by its complex tonal variations with a pleasant mixture of haunting piano rhythms from Brad Stokes, fiddle melodies and breaks, and vocal harmonies that build through the song to culminate in the characteristic and unforgettable high energy music of Salemspeaks. The “River” captures the rhythm of the water flowing and then hooks into an upbeat fiddle free fall demonstrating the power and changing character of the water through different seasons and terrain. Finally, the last song is “Mother of Moonshine” where Austin Hansen changes from drums to guitar and Zach Britt trades his guitar for the Djembe. Austin’s voice seamlessly combines with Katherine Ririe’s in a duet that melts into a solid and soulful rhythm of guitar and fiddle punctuated by a beating drum.
The songs on the CD capture the sensation of the band as they interact with their instruments and each other. The songs are exciting additions to the SalemSpeaks arsenal with energy and inspiration that provide an entertaining listening experience.