Mulberry Soul


If a nippy autumn afternoon in the Adirondacks could create its own music, it would surely sound like the new self-titled album by Mulberry Soul.

Hailing from the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Mulberry Soul plays a beautifully rural blend of bluegrass and folk that can both stomp with scorching energy and chill with relaxed but gracefully flowing rhythms.

The instrumentation on this record is so tight, it sounds like as if the band were part of a single, large instrument. This is especially evident on the smokin’ “Suzanna on The Hillside” and “Wilding Grove.” It’s also worth noting how excellent Mulberry Soul is at packing in as much emotion and sentiment into their playing. The fiddle alone can tug your heartstrings straight out of your chest one minute and then make you smile the next.

Out of the many strengths to be found on this album, the one that stands out to me the most is the group’s ability to weave elegant meditations on rather deep and sometimes existential subjects with a combination of expressive yet relatable lyrics and purely sympathetic instrumentation. For instance, on the record’s closing number, “What We’re Made of,” singer and banjoist Cordelia Hall, sings:

“On cloudy days my cloudy mind is feeling so confused

Got a list a mile long, don’t know what to do

Went to the garden, got down on my knees

Put my hands in the soil, said hello to the bees”

Hall’s soothing voice speaks of seeking the simplicity of getting back to the earth in order to reach a happier, more connected existence. The rich harmonies and warm-as-a-campfire-glow combination of the entire group’s set of instruments (which includes mandolin, cello and guitar, to name a few) supports the song’s self-realization and back-to-basics message and really drives it home.

By the end of this album, you’re going to have a problem with doing anything other than replaying it over and over.

-Keith Hadad


Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: