I’d like to say I planned to cover a few vintage style Americana-flavored bands right around the July 4th holiday, to pay proper tribute to our nation’s independence, but to be perfectly honest, it was a happy accident. The Boston-based Hillary Reynolds Band features, yes, Hillary Reynolds on sparkling clear lead vocals, Trevor Jarvis on cello and backing vocals, Connor Reese on guitar, Jeff Hale on drums and Chris Mewhinney on electric and acoustic bass. On The Miles Before Us, their imminent new album (it comes out next week), they stretch out into a smorgasboard of rootsy country-flavored homespun pop music with the emphasis on the warm sound of acoustic strings and Reynolds’ effortlessly soaring vocals. They’ve released a new video ahead of the album, for “Honey, Come Home,” a delicious slice of their folk-infused Americana.
Even on tracks like “Pretending I’m In Love,” the mood is decidedly upbeat, though my personal favorites are the quieter songs like “This Love Is Ours,” with beautiful interplay between softly sung vocals and reverent cello, and “How,” with its tinkling piano lines adding extra emphasis to heartfelt lyrics. “I Didn’t Know Who To Call” brings melancholy piano and a softly drifting voice, creating a jazz-blues feel and moving things into moodier territory, with the cello adding a perfect counterpoint. The album ends on a hopeful note with “Keep On Driving,” piano and cello driven along nicely with chugging organic sounding percussion. It’s the equivalent of comfort food for the ears.
They’ll be celebrating the new addition with a performance at Berklee School of Music’s wonderful performance space, Cafe 939. While the band members hail from different parts of the country, Berklee provided a central meeting place where they shared their love for traditional American music. As for the venue, the laid back coffee house atmosphere and intimate space is the perfect environment for listening to music like this, so if you’re in the area, definitely check them out. If you’re not in the area, they’re also performing in Biddeford, Maine on July 23, and will then be embarking on a proper tour in August, beginning in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as all great tours must do. They’ll be hitting Wisconsin, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and parts south. See their full tour schedule for more information.
Speaking of the band’s multi-instrumentalist leanings, guitarist Connor adds: “Each instrument adds a different flavor, and if someone plays some random thing, we can usually find a way to incorporate it. Because of this, the instrumentation is always evolving — we travel with 10 instruments on the stage and more in the car, like piano, cello, mandolin, acoustic, electric, and pedal steel guitars, ukulele, upright and electric bass, and drum kit. It’s quite a family.”