So the whole point of the NMF prize is a full album review. However, with the Barefoot 57s, they’re so much an up and coming band that they’ve only released two songs, so we’ll talk about those ones. I’m calling them Americana even though they are officially listed as “folk” and “singer songwriter.” To me, though, they sound like they have a deep set of roots in classic songwriting. It’s a cool, promising sound.
This track “Take Me Home” makes it easy to hear what our voters heard; there’s a cool Americana blend of horns and guitars that work nicely. The vocals remind me a bit of Fleetwood Mac style. The whole sound feels like it could have come out of the 70s. The lyric “I’ll go anywhere as long as you’re there” caps off a timeless sounding pop song. Fans of Fleetwood Mac, Three Dog Night, or even the Allman Brothers will find something to enjoy with this one.
Their new 2017 song is “Labor Day.” It’s a calm, plodding, melodic tune. You’ll hear banjo, saxophone, and vocals. The structure even dips into jazz territory sometimes, but all in all it’s an interesting development on folk music. The lyrics are about looking back on a relationship. Some of the vocals could be a bit tighter, but the sound overall shows great promise.