taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder

reviews of the moment


— Be the Moon

Economy of both music and words abound in Mebane duo Be the Moon’s debut release, creating an absorbing, if somewhat uneven blanket of warm, familiar Americana to wrap up in. The country influences are played down for the most part, surfacing only to add to the duo of Elliott Humphries and percussionist Adam Shaw’s repertoire of vying folk influences. Opener “Scenes From A Parking Lot” is tinged with slide guitar amidst lengthy stretches of quiet reflection, represented both in contemplative verses and its instrumental bridge. Guitarist and songwriter Elliott Humphries exhibits a few different faces within. He’s the gently reassuring acoustic crooner with a country bent on “Everyone’s Perfect (In Someone’s Eyes)” at one moment, and then the beer-battered corndog channeling Robert Earl Keen in the “about last night” hangover ballad “Lack of Good Judgment.” There are some head-scratcher moments, namely when Shaw comes in badly off time on “Terrible Sight to See,” a faux pas in recording if there ever was one. But then there is “New Normal,” a driving piece propelled by excellent guitar work and harmonies. It’s a pretty good first effort for the duo, and there’s plenty of room to grow next time around.

Be the Moon will perform at the Greensboro Mellow Mushroom on Friday.