Great Lakes - Ways of Escape

Orange Twin
(otr040: 656605664026)

Great Lakes formed in Athens, Georgia in 1996. Founded around the songwriting partnership of Ben Crum and lyricist Dan Donahue, with multi-instrumentalist Jamey Huggins and a rotating cast of several other players. They released an eponymous debut in 2000. Over time Huggins began to switch his focus to other projects, and Crum and Donahue relocated to Brooklyn, releasing The Distance Between in 2002. Diamond Times appeared in 2006. In 2009 Donahue moved back to Athens, leaving Crum to carry on in New York. 2010's Ways of Escape is the first of their records to feature Crum as the primary songwriter. With its frank and personal folk- and country-influenced songs, the record has a bare emotional style that's far from the innocent optimism and lighthearted psychedelia of the band's early records. Adorned with gentle guitar, stately piano, beautiful pedal steel, soulful organ and subtle yet powerful drumming, Ways of Escape is distinguished by the accomplished musicianship of the group of veteran players who made it. With Crum singing and playing guitar, it also features Kevin Shea on drums, David Lerner on bass, Jay Israelson on piano, Joe McGinty on electric piano and organ, Jon Natchez on bass clarinet and saxophones, Heather McIntosh on cello, Linda Rosenbury on violin, Phillip Sterk on pedal steel, and Suzanne Nienaber singing backing vocals. Great Lakes will tour Europe and the USA in 2010 and 2011. All songs written by Ben Crum, except Sour Grapes by John Prine and lyrics to Summer Fruit by Dan Donahue.

"On the group's fourth long-player, lone founding member Ben Crum holds the reins, and his gentle delivery, lyricism, and obvious love of late-'60s and early-'70s country and folk-rock help make *Ways of Escape* the perfect late-summer road trip companion." -Allmusic

"The record is completely authentic and raw. Based around the fully fleshed out songs, the artists playing are 100% complimentary. No one takes the spotlight and everyone falls into a back pocket to give the songs the bed they deserve to lay upon. This record is definitely worth picking up." -Dysonsound

"A delightful album that comes across as a diverse yet perfectly balanced slice of post-Americana, *Ways of Escape* represents a significant shift in their sound, not unlike what would happen if Belle and Sebastian had spent too much time listening to a bunch of old Graham Nash records. There's something here that folks fans will truly love. "
-Cover Lay Down blog

1. Rev War
2. Ghost Brother
3. Summer Fruit
4. Chosen Enemy
5. A Good Day to Die
6. Wind Horse
7. Sorrow and Woe
8. Sour Grapes
9. Old Ways
10. Half Your Life Gone
11. Ways of Escape

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