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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Jan 28th, 2015

Echo Sparks: Ghost Town Girl

Echo SparksEcho Sparks
Ghost Town Girl
(self-released)

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Echo Sparks’ debut album, Ghost Town Girl, is quite the concoction. The Orange County, CA trio is CC Kinnick singing and playing guitars, DA Valdez singing as well as playing guitars, banjo, drums and Cindy Ballreich on upright bass and mandolin.

Opening with a tight rockabilly ditty (great harmony vocals here right from the outset), we get flangy guitars, swirling organ and a loose snare on “Broken Arrow.” This is a sweet moving first tune.

“End Of the Line” slowly builds from its lilting female vocals/acoustic guitar opening to “plumping” Ballreich bass and again those harmony vocals. These duet vocals move the mid-tempo “Mexican Moon” where we finally get to some of the heart of the music this band is about. There is such a rich tapestry of trad harmonies, folk/rockabilly mix-up and the Mexican backing behind the trio here you can’t help but be taken away. A song like this is the high-water mark of the Echo Spark production, with the vocals and instruments even at an edge of crescendo at the end.

I love the acoustic guitar opening to the title track love lament, how the riff informs the tune under that plopping upright (there really is no other instrument that sounds quite like this) and again we get those spot-on vocals and a real upfront use of the banjo and mandolin. We get biting watch-out-for-that-woman “Torch Song” with some nicely played electric guitar leading and mover “I Think It’s You” ends.

Echo Sparks gives us a rich, well-played, well-sung brew of ten songs on Ghost Town Girl.

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Echo Sparks: Ghost Town Girl