Memories That Bless & Burn

Memories That Bless & Burn

by Dry Branch Fire SquadDry Branch Fire Squad


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With Memories that Bless and Burn Dry Branch Fire Squad has made the kind of music that the alt-country folks are copying, but a few steps closer to the real thing. Sweet gospel harmonies exist side-by-side with episodes of banjo madness and the vocalists, especially Mary Jo Leet and Ron Thomason, sometimes sound like they are singing right on top of their last raw nerve. This is not to say that the members of Dry Branch Fire Squad lack talent -- rather their sound is stripped down to a kind of pure mirror of the music of their grandparents, something which helps make their faith-driven lyrics sound sincere and evokes the sound of the church itself, with its shouting preachers and passionate bursts of praise. This album functions as sort of a greatest-hits album -- the first three songs are new material -- including the excellent title track, which features the sweet singing of Suzanne Thomas and helps set the mood for the rest of the album. Tracks 4-10 are from previous Rounder recordings and provide a profile of the band's earlier work. Tracks 4 and 5 are two versions of the same song, interesting because they show the evolution of both the band's technique and the quality of the equipment that they recorded on (the second version is amazingly clearer, as well as featuring a more powerful vocal). Tracks 11-13 are songs that had been featured on other albums but were re-recorded for this one, and 14-16 are songs that have long been a part of their gospel shows but are being recorded for the first time. "Touch the Hem of His Garment," provides a beautiful closing to this album, evoking the gentle despair and hope that echo all throughout this fine work.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/26/1999
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0018964446925
catalogNumber: 469
Rank: 201410

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dry Branch Fire Squad   Primary Artist
Hazel Dickens   Vocals
John Baker   Guitar,Vocals
Dick Erwin   Bass
John Hisey   Banjo
Robert Leach   Banjo
Charles Leet   Group Member
Mary Jo Leet   Vocals
Bobby Osborne   Mandolin
Suzanne Thomas   Guitar,Vocals
Ron Thomason   Mandolin,Vocals
Charlie Lett   Bass
Bobby Maynard   Banjo
John Carpenter   Bass,Vocals

Technical Credits

Ken Irwin   Producer
Mike Niklas   Engineer
Ron Thomason   Liner Notes
Rob Dimit   Engineer
Ken Baker   Producer
Robbie Osborne   Engineer
Jack Casey   Engineer
Traditional   Composer

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