This EP isn't a collection of murder ballads so much as one of tales of misfortune collected from grandparents who grew up during and after the Great Depression in the West. "Brother Ely" is the tale of a pious figure who comes to town, doomed to sing his praise to God literally to death when his efforts invite the attention of the Devil. "Travelin' Chair"'s Willie McGee, meanwhile, doesn't fare much better after being framed in 1945. Musically, this record has clear ties to folk and other old-timey music, but the arrangements and instrumentation have a modern flavor that gives graceful yet weighty songs like "Last Man on the Mountain" a depth and richness that could not have been achieved with vintage equipment.
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