"The Legend Of Lavinia Fisher" By All The Little Pieces (Lexington,KY)/Roots Rock/Released Sep 2016
Country, folk, and other forms of “roots”music often have a very distinct trait in common. A penchant for storytelling. With the style’s no frills, straightforward charm, artists like Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash can enamor a listener with tales of heartbreak, redemption, humor and other topics. This makes roots music a deserving candidate for concept albums that can present a collection of songs around a central tale or theme. Central Kentucky’s All The Little Pieces look to use their roots influences to tell a ghostly tale about an alleged serial killer from the American South.
Formed in the spring of 2012, All The Little Pieces are comprised of bassist Billy Thomas, drummer Matt Halvorson, and singer-songwriter Rhyan Sinclair. Despite having a revolving door of guitarists, the band has consistently gigged around Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and other places and earned a 2015 Lexington Music Award for best rock band. The group has been prolific as well with their most recent album, “The Legend Of Lavinia Fisher”, being their third in four years.
With “The Legend of Lavinia Fisher” All The Little Pieces have dropped most of the rock elements from their previous albums in favor of a more traditionalist folk/country sound. The songs have a dark, haunting feel reminiscent of The Civil Wars and Sinclair’s vocal similarity to Joy Williams adds to the comparison. In addition to the band’s usual instruments of guitars and drums the album makes use of common country instruments such as mandolin and pedal steel, While a more somber effort than their previous work the band still makes use of catchy hooks that can draw listeners in and make the songs more accessible to non country and folk fans.
The album changes narrative perspective from a present day traveler, to an 1800′s traveler who visits Lavinia’s infamous inn, to Lavinia Fisher herself. The haunting slow and mid tempo songs fit the mood of the subject matter but there are a few more upbeat tracks to be found. “Just Sane Enough”, the first single released from the album, is more alike to ATLP’s previous works with an upbeat folk rock sound. Opening track “Smoke & Tornadoes” is a straightforward country song with a strong chorus. “The Mask” is a more rock inspired track with electric guitar being well featured. “Lavinia’s Song” is one of the more haunting tracks told from Lavinia Fisher’s perspective detailing her luring of traveler’s and her execution.
The newest effort from All The Little Pieces draws more heavily from their folk and country influences to great effect. Despite dialing down their rock elements they still maintain a sound that fits with their previous work. A concept album is a unique direction that has driven the group to greater experimentation with their music and it’s likely this creative drive will spawn more unique creative works down the line.