Album Reviews

Over the Moon

Moondancer

Artist:     Over the Moon

Album:     Moondancer

Label:     Self-released

Release Date:     7/15/2017

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We caught husband-and-wife duo Over the Moon at Folk Alliance International and knew we were on to something special—we just didn’t know we’d have to wait for a CD. Turns out it’s been worth it.

Real-life ranchers Craig Bignell and Suzanne Levesque had never recorded together before, but they’ve been doing something right, up there in the hills of Alberta. Bignell, a session drummer, picked up banjo and guitar fairly recently, apparently much of it from osmosis, because he sounds like he’s been playing his whole life. The two met at an impromptu songfest, when Levesque stepped in to support Bignell on his vocals. Cut to the chase: they got married.

The two play a wide variety of acoustic instruments, but the real treat here is their tight harmonies and the profound feelings they share through these songs. Weaving in and out of the melody, the first cut, Ray Hughes’ “Strangers We Meet,” sets up the tone for the album: gentle and deep.

Punctuated by toe-tapping Texas swing (some written by the duo), and folk-y takes on blues like “That’s How I Learned to Sing the Blues,” most of Over the Moon’s own songs—like many of the best songs anywhere—stem from their own lives, expanded to be universal. Ian Tyson, one half of Ian and Sylvia and “Four Strong Winds” writer, penned the title track, and it does stand out, even in a truly lovely album.

Word has it the duo are already writing for their next record, and I, for one, look forward to it. At least there’s Moondancer to listen to while we wait.

—Suzanne Cadgène

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