Trailer Bride: Melissa Swingle (vocals, guitar, harmonica, accordion, piano, organ, saw); Tim Barnes (guitar); Daryl White (bow, bass); John Bowman (drums, tambourine).
Recorded at the Kudzu Ranch, Mebane, North Carolina.
Personnel: Melissa Swingle (vocals, guitar, harmonica, accordion, piano, organ, musical saw); Tim Barnes (guitar); Daryl White (strings); John Bowman (drums, tambourine).
Audio Mixers: Mark Williams ; Rick Miller; Trailer Bride.
Recording information: Kudzu Ranch, Mebane, NC.
Photographer: Michael Traister.
Unknown Contributor Role: Daryl White .
Arranger: Trailer Bride.
By now, with the arrival of Trailer Bride's fifth album in six years, you've either already hitched to the band's mobile home or decided to avoid this brand of jaded, bored, yet insightful alt-country altogether. However, if frontperson, guitarist, singer/songwriter, and saw player Melissa Swingle's sleepy monotone delivery and Trailer Bride's rather dark, moody country & western fits your desolate impression of life in the slow lane, then Hope Is a Thing With Feathers will fly as well as, if not better than, the band's existing catalog. Imagine Nico fronting Calexico if Gram Parsons wrote the songs and you're close to the stoner country vibe the band generates. Swingle adds piano to her arsenal of instruments on the comparatively jaunty "Quickstep" and Tim Barnes' vibrato guitar provides the perfect spooky, ghost town ambiance, especially when he plays slide. Daryl White's deliberate, often gloomy standup bass injects appropriately unsettling atmospherics. Recorded and co-produced by Southern Culture on the Skids' Rick Miller (at his studio), this album taps a deeper swampy feel, highlighted by the instrumental "Shiloh." However, the guitarist doesn't alter their existing sound appreciably. Some of these songs aren't particularly memorable and the band isn't pushing its established envelope, but there remains plenty to enjoy here, especially if you've already hopped on board Trailer Bride's gothic Southern vibe. If you haven't and you like your country on the bleak side, this is your ticket to ride the lonesome highway. ~ Hal Horowitz
Mojo (Publisher) (12/03, p.114) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]here's a mix of twisted folk rock, recalling a less skeletal Palace and early-Nick-Cave-in-a-cowboy-hat rock."