Personnel: Karin Bergquist (vocals, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar); Linford Detweiler (vocals, acoustic guitar); Eric Heywood (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mark Goldenberg (acoustic guitar, gut-string guitar, mandolin); Patrick Warren (autoharp, accordion, harmonium, chamberlin); Jennifer Condos (acoustic bass, electric bass); Jay Bellerose (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Ryan Freeland.
Liner Note Author: Jerry Overstreet.
Recording information: The Garfield House, South Pasadena (03/28/2013-04/03/2013).
Photographers: Kevin Rains; Linford Detweiler; Karin Bergquist; Darrin Ballman.
Recorded over six days with the help of Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer Joe Henry, who helmed 2011's The Long Surrender, Meet Me at the Edge of the World features 18 original songs (and one cover), and was inspired by the pre-Civil War farmhouse that Linford Detweiler and Karen Bergquist purchased in 2005. The duo began stockpiling songs for the project while the ink was still drying on the deed, and by the time they got around to finally laying down the tracks, it had ballooned into a double album. Similar in style and cadence to their previous outing, Meet Me at the Edge of the World falls somewhere between the rural, antebellum folk of Gillian Welch, the evocative, sepia-toned eccentricity of Tom Waits, and the soulful ache of Lucinda Williams. Detweiler and Bergquist are at their best when they're invoking the sights and sounds of their Southern Ohio locale, and songs like "Highland County," "Wildflower Bouquet," "Called Home," and "All Over Ohio," the latter of which, a playful duet, feels almost Gershwin-esque, make an emotional connection that feels a little like receiving a postcard from an old childhood friend. More pensive numbers like "All of It Was Music" and the spooky and mercurial "Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down" engage as well, allowing things to get a little overcast. However, that tactic doesn't fare as well on rote blues numbers like "Gonna Let My Soul Catch My Body" and "Baby if This Is Nowhere," both of which suffer from uninspired arrangements and Bergquist's stagey vocal affectations, but with 16 other relatively solid tracks to buffer them, one of which is a soulful, Carole King-inspired take on the Band's "It Makes No Difference," it's hard to let a few clouds ruin a perfectly good sunset. ~ James Christopher Monger