Colorado, it's safe to say, isn't known for its soul men. But by creating some of the most stirring music to emerge from this state, Denver native and ex-Subdude John Magnie has been correcting that shortcoming for the past couple of decades. These days, Magnie's crafting his spiritual sounds in 3 Twins (who appear August 25 at the Soiled Dove). Formerly known as Magpie, the act recently changed its name when an act with the same handle surfaced with ruffled feathers. Thankfully, though, Magnie and his mates (Subdudes drummer/percussionist Steve Amedee and bassist Mr. Rutherford) haven't changed their tune.
Trinkets is an aptly named recording, a sparkling collection of humble little gems and treasures. The Twins conjure up rolling, New Orleans-styled treats, country-tinged doo-wops and haunting Tin Pan Alley odes, infusing all of them with emotion, knockout harmonies and a delicious sense of men-to-boys playfulness. It's a delightful amalgam of rustic Americana and Louisiana soul (Louisicana, perhaps?), as thrilling as a Cajun crawdad steamed in Colorado beer.
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On the Crescent City side of things, highlights include the strolling, piano-powered soul of "I'm Trying," the layered rhythms of "If Wishin' Made It So" (a reworked version of a heartbreaker from Magnie's recent solo release) and other Creole-complementing cuts. On the hybrid R&B side, there's the glorious ache of "The Rain Song," a bayou-blessed, street-corner-singing jewel of the highest order. All of these songs are spiked with the 3 Twins' high-altitude sensibilities, mixing Dixie Hummingbirds-in-the-Rockies harmonies with a sense of Western wistfulness. This is wonderful music, as real as it gets. Best of all, the disc crackles with a loose, homemade vibe that peaks in the tipsy, three-part harmonies of "Three Days." A lonely heart never sounded so appealing. Throw in a road-trip anthem ("Wyoming Bound," with a gnarly extro-solo from Jay Clear) and you've got a CD that any soul-craving Coloradan would be proud to have in his collection.