David Ash
Album Review - Burlap To Cashmere

Burlap To Cashmere
Burlap To Cashmere
Burlap To Cashmere
Release Date: 2011

There are some bands you listen to whose music, melody and lyrics just get under your skin. This is one such band! They are the original Mumford & Sons, with musical queues from greats such as Simon & Garfunkle, greek rythms and folk sound, its a wonderful mixture of melody and haunting lyrics! Can't wait to hear what they come up with next. They seem little known in the UK which seems rather unfair!

Reviews & Background
Stepping back into the spotlight after a decade away takes an unusually high degree of musical integrity. For folk-rock pioneers Burlap to Cashmere, a band that built a reputation for both exceptional studio projects and as an unyielding touring act in the late '90s, that integrity shines through on a new self-titled, 11-track project. Burlap to Cashmere have an inspired blend of Mediterranean rhythms, rootsy textures and tight-knit harmonies, which lend the unmistakable air of folk-rock greats Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens. With their core lineup intact - singer/ guitarist/songwriter Steven Delopoulos, guitarist John Philippidis and drummer Theodore Pagano - Burlap to Cashmere return with renewed focus, drive and energy. "There's something about family and people you've known forever that makes the chemistry happen," Delopoulos says. "There's a sense of honesty and trust. That"s Burlap to Cashmere." On their first album in more than a decade, Burlap to Cashmere draw from all the influences that made them a touchstone band: Mediterranean and Greek rhythms, flamenco and classic American folk, to create a rich body of work that embraces the past while crystallising their new creative vision.

Burlap to Cashmere redefined folk rock in the 90s through its unique melding of flamenco and Mediterranean influences crossed with poetically introspective lyrics, yet the band bowed out in 2001 after years of nonstop touring alongside some of the biggest acts in the business took its toll. A decade after its split, the band that paved the way for The Avett Borthers and Mumford & Sons singer/guitarist/songwriter Steven Delopoulos, guitarist John Philippidis and drummer Theodore Pagano have reunited, returning with a beautiful, stripped-down new sound.

Earlier this year, the trio hit the studio in California with producer Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow) with a few simple rules: There will be no nudging, no Auto-Tuning, we re going into this for everything that s organic about the band, Philippidis says. The result, the eleven-track self-titled album, is releasing on July 19 on Jive and Essential Records.

Further Reviews
I can still remember with tremendous clarity the way I felt when I first heard "Basic Instructions"...a mixture of joy, of the desire to dance, to raise my hands and spin around. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since we last heard BtC together, but on disc, it was only yesterday. Time has mellowed the vocals a little bit, and there is more emphasis on haunting harmony and tunefulness, a little less of the insane flamenco-like guitar flourishes (don't worry, they aren't gone, just different), but the core that made this band so exciting has remained, and I think that (now that I have it in my hands) it was worth the wait. These songs are joyous, but tinged with weary, with the knowledge that experience brings. Influences from classic American rock are more easily seen here, and that is for the good--I'd love to hear B&C cover some Neil Young. There are some Irish influences, and some homage to classic singer/songwriters like Cat Stevens as well, but all of this is not to say that they sound like anyone but themselves, and for that I am profoundly relieved. After all this time, after all the tragedy that the band endured (their guitarist was seriously injured and left in a coma for quite a long time back a decade or more ago), this album is a homecoming, a celebration of great songwriting, solid playing, soulful singing, deep and beautiful lyrics. This is the album that I could never have dreamed would come after "Anybody Out There" but it is exactly the album it should be. I don't know how to express how much I have enjoyed it more than this. For all Burlap fans, don't hesitate. It's everything you wanted. If you've never experienced Burlap to Cashmere before, pick this one up first. It is a great place to start, a great introduction to a great band, and hopefully just one in a series of albums they will give us in the future!

Buy now
You can buy your copy on Amazon.

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