Artist: Rayna Gellert
Album: Workin’s Too Hard
Label: Storysound Records
Release Date: 01/20/2017
Up until this point, Rayna Gellert has shored up her credibility mainly in service to others, as member of the bluegrass band Uncle Earl and by literally playing second fiddle to singer/songwriter Scott Miller. Nevertheless, she’s a prodigious talent, equally adept on fiddle and guitar as well as a superb singer to boot. Her musical background is spawn from growing up in a musical family that reared her on Appalachian ballads and various other forms of vintage Americana, and the lessons she learned young never left her.
Gellert’s latest effort arrives in the form of a seven song EP, but while it may be short on stock, her obvious affection for folk music can be found embodied within its grooves. While a pair of the songs — “Oh Lovin’ Babe” and “I’m Bound for the Promised Land”—are traditional tunes, they find a fine fit with Gellert’s originals, including two co-written with Kieran Kane (who also co-produces and contributes guitar and mandolin). In fact, it’s hard to tell where the vintage material stops and the newer songs begin. The entire record is embossed with a folk finesse that holds true to tradition while seemingly adding to its coffers as well. Its ageless and inspired all at the same time, and all the more enchanting as a result.
In a way, Workin’s Too Hard affirms its premise, a mostly laid-back affair that combines its unhurried arrangements with a kind of restful repose. It’s within these serendipitous surroundings that Gellert shows such distinction.