Album Review | Top of the World | Anna & Elizabeth – Anna & Elizabeth

Anna & Elizabeth

Words by Nathaniel Handy

4PAN1TSPBThe hills are alive with the sound of young old-time music

Like a long-lost Coen Brothers soundtrack, this album opens to the old-time sounds of the Southern cotton fields. Drenched in biblical imagery, this mostly traditional collection of 16 tracks highlights the talents of fiddler, guitarist and banjo player Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle, one of the Appalachian tradition’s finest young singers. Influenced by the likes of Alice Gerrard and Sheila Kay Adams, the duo have created a timeless second album that simultaneously evokes the earthy and the ethereal. Appalachia is one of the last great bastions of American folk music and song – a poor and hard-bitten region isolated among the great mountain range of the eastern US.

Anna & Elizabeth collected these tracks from old-time musicians in both Appalachia and the Deep South. The storytelling is moving in its simplicity and the musicianship switches between an upbeat energy on songs such as ‘Troubles’ and loneliness and melancholy on material like ‘Little Black Train’. A timeless testament to the richness of the American traditional songbook.