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There's no waiting for Lowland Hum

Club Passim, Cambridge, Mass., April 2, 2019

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Lowland Hum apparently couldn't wait to hit the road to promote their new disc, "Glyphonic." Make that upcoming disc because the release date is not until May 10.

Chances are it's no surprise either that the husband-and-wife duo of Daniel and Laura Goans are doing it their way. Theirs has been a DIY ethos for a long time. Based on their steady, engaging performance, there's no reason to change what seems to work. So, why not tour well before the new songs are out?

Laura was on keyboards, while her tall, thin husband handled acoustic guitar. She tended to assume more of the vocals and was a better singer than her husband on songs that go towards folk, but contained roots elements in the sound as well. It's all pretty darn quiet, a perfect mesh for the listening room.

There was a darkness at times to a lot of the music. "I Like You That Way," from the upcoming release, creates fear about setting foot in Indiana for some reason.

They did have some help on the new song "Salzburg Summer," in the form of what they said was an apparently quirky drum machine from the Sixties. In fact, they had to restart the next song, "Equator Line" because Laura opined that the beat was too fast.

Daniel was a chatty type. Chances are that's the case most nights because he joked about being the more talkative one, who is given to long stories. He's also one to go more out on a limb, which he did several times with improvised songs that seemed to have enough form that this guy seems to have songs running in his head. Give him much credit for composing on the fly, and he's even able to tell a pretty coherent story as well.

They also easily engaged with the crowd, coming across someone who had gone to "Vedauwoo," a Wyoming states park, which is also is the title of one of their songs.

Anna Tivel, a folk artist from Portland, Ore., opened with a strong set. Tivel created numerous images with her stories and words. She may have been a bit limited in musical variety, but she is keeping folk music alive and strong.

Tivel also had the courage to play a brand new, untitled song that she had only written the day before. Talk about being fresh.

The night closed out appropriately enough Tivel joining her new BFFs for a reading of Dylan's "Not Dark Yet." A well done close to a warm evening of music. There's no need to wait for that.