Personnel: Jolie Holland (vocals, guitar, violin, whistle); Samantha Parton (vocals, guitar); Stevie Weinstein-Foner (vocals, guitar); Jared Samuel (baritone guitar, piano, organ); Justin Veloso (drums).
Audio Mixers: Jolie Holland; Larry Crane ; Samantha Parton.
Recording information: Blackfish Sound, Vancouver, BC; Blue Rooms, Portland, OR; Los Angeles, CA; The Cabin, Vancouver, BC.
Photographer: Stevie Weinstein-Foner.
Founding members of Canadian alt-folk/bluegrass group the Be Good Tanyas, Samantha Parton and Jolie Holland, share an easy rapport on the collaborative Wildflower Blues, despite the latter having left the band midway through the recording of their 2000 debut Blue Horse. Arriving three years after Holland's boundary-pushing Wine Dark Sea, and four years after Parton's recovery from a pair of brutal automobile accidents that resulted in cranial surgery to remove an aneurysm behind her left eye, Wildflower Blues opens with a moving cover of Townes Van Zandt's cautiously optimistic "You Are Not Needed Now." The duo's billing of the project as "North Americana and outsider folk" is apt, as both the BGT's and Holland have never been ones to collapse idly into the arms of one specific genre, be it gospel, blues, ragtime, folk, jazz, or country. It's roots music to be sure, but it carries with it the cultural displacement of those who pioneered it, and the occasional tonal and vocal affectations that drive the ten-track set feel genuine because of that affection for otherness. What's most surprising about Wildflower Blues is how laid-back it is, especially in light of Parton's long convalescence. More celebratory than introspective, it's primarily a collection of muggy, early summer evening slow-burners that run the gamut from saucy ("Wildflower Blues") to downright sensual ("Make It Up to Me"). It's both intensely personal and charmingly aloof, an equilibrium that can only be attained via the weathered hearts of old friends. ~ James Christopher Monger
Paste (magazine) - "[T]he fact that this pairing comes across as assured and unhurried provides a testament to their chemistry, as well as their devotion to a common cause."