Split Tongue Crow
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Split Tongue Crow

Rutland, Vermont, United States | SELF

Rutland, Vermont, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic

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Nov
18
Split Tongue Crow @ Kenyon Arena

Middlebury, Vermont, USA

Middlebury, Vermont, USA

Oct
02
Split Tongue Crow @ Woods Farm

Brandon, Vermont, USA

Brandon, Vermont, USA

Sep
30
Split Tongue Crow @ Red Square

Burlington, Vermont, USA

Burlington, Vermont, USA

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Despite last Friday’s bleak weather, the performance by Vermont’s own Split Tongue Crow managed to create a warm atmosphere at 51 Main. The five-piece band played a selection of earnest songs about life and loss that entertained and impressed an intimate audience. 51 Main itself was the perfect venue for the unique group; some dined, while others played board games and more still were to be found simply watching and releasing themselves to the band’s musings.

Split Tongue Crow define themselves by their Vermont background. The five members are all native North Easters and find it difficult to separate their sound from where they grew up; they describe it as an “organic” reflection of place. This organic music style comes to us as largely acoustic and balances indie-rock with new-grass and folk traditions, while remaining distinct from all of these genres. Their songs were generally based in texture arising from melody, harmonizing vocals and guitar. Percussion featured prominently and to great effect as the night progressed, contrasting the lush vocals.

Two songs, performed midway through the show, were perhaps the best showcase for the considerable individual talents of the performers. While the voice of the female lead — Cara White — shone through all night with a numbingly lovely timbre, it was at its most tender and rich in the harmony with her male counterpart in “God Only Knows.” The two were technically on fire in their swooping dynamic contrasts that mirrored the complexity of the song: a mix of passion and despair.

Above all, a real care for musicianship was felt in this number; the pair kept up the slow three beat solemnly but not indulgently, and spun their song with such delicacy that its personal importance was obvious. An earlier number, “Seems Some Time,” tapped into the same vein of melancholy and exposed the sensitivity of the guitar playing during a central interlude.

This unexpected moment drew the audience’s attention to the contrapuntal complexity the accompaniment had been providing all night; far from strumming chords in the background, the three guitarists were subtly presenting their own melodies, and weaving them in to the vocals with ease. It was an important moment to appreciate what musical sensitivity there was throughout the group, not just in the prominent voices.

As might be expected from a band rooted in Vermont tradition, Split Tongue Crow’s presence on stage was casual. The energy and intensity of performance was matched by the energy of group interactions, and quirky interjections between songs. “I like gladiators,” declared the mustached lead-singer half way through the night.

Another notable feature of the group was their lyrical artistry. This poetic deftnesswas highlighted by the clearly enunciated singing, but was enjoyable in its own right. Many lines were more akin to contemporary poetry than the rather forced rhymes so prevalent in many lyrics. The group, painting pictures with their words, used the soft inflections of language to produce individual lines that were as rich in sound as the songs themselves.

Although still unsigned, Split Tongue Crow have a well-deserved reputation in Vermont that appears to be increasing. Their shows in the coming months include performances at Two Brothers Tavern, Stone Hearth Inn in Chester and Chasers in Rutland. - Middlebury Campus


RUTLAND, VT.- Split Tongue Crow is a band whose members have played together on-and-off for over 20 years, but interestingly enough, came together as this particular group just six months ago, which makes their self-titled debut CD that much more impressive.

Photos courtesy of Split Tongue Crow
Based in Rutland and featuring Cara White on vocals, David Anderson on electric guitar and banjo, Eoin (pronounced “Owen”) Noonan on acoustic guitar and vocals, Jeremy Woods on bass guitar and vocals and Matt Marro on drums, Split Tongue Crow combines a unique blend of indie-folk, delicate harmonies and acoustic sensibilities which captures a sincere, down-home, on the front porch atmosphere.

Anderson, Woods, Noonan and Marro have played music together in one form or another since 1990 and from 2000 to 2005, were all members of a band called "Will", an alt-country outfit based in Burlington which released one self-titled CD and toured extensively throughout New England. Now fast forward to 2010, as Anderson, Woods and Noonan found themselves playing and writing songs together when they met Cara White one night at an open mic performance. Cara and the guys started playing together… and it clicked.

“We found Cara at an open mic at Skunk Hollow Tavern(in Hartland Four Corners) and she was a match from the get-go,” Matt Marro said in a recent interview. “It simply worked and felt right. You really can't describe it and there's no real need to try. The way her voice blended, her personality, her taste in music...all the right pieces fit together.”

After only six months of writing songs and rehearsing, Marro was brought back into the mix just three days before the band recorded their self-titled debut CD, which features 10 original tracks recorded at Mount Hollywood Studios in Belmont, 346(studio)in New Jersey and yes, Jeremy Woods' own bedroom. The tracks were(mostly)recorded and engineered by friend Cooper Anderson. “As for 346 in New Jersey, it is part of the home of Cooper,” Marro added. “Dave, Jeremy and I were classmates of his and he did most of the recording and engineering for the CD at all three studio locations.

“The CD really came about because our friend Linwood(Woody)Thompson heard Jeremy, Cara and Eoin play together at the Skunk Hollow Tavern and became interested in helping out. Woody is a fan of music above all things and really had faith that the music was worth getting out there. He and his wife Tammy are amazing people and we honestly wouldn't have an album without them.” The CD packaging is also of great quality, featuring an interesting cover design by the drummer Marro and detailed liner notes.

The music offers pristine, yet melancholy acoustic guitars and crisp vocals, subtle electric guitar flourishes, a shuffling back beat and at times, a haunting quality about the songwriting which drops you right in the heart of the Vermont backwoods in which it was created. The smooth vocal harmonies from the opening tracks "Avalon" and "Easy Come" immediately set the tone for all the subtleties and grass-roots hooks to come throughout.

"No Reservations" picks up the pace with jangle-y electric guitars, fiddle inflections from guest musician Joanna Tanger and organ embellishments from Conor McQuade, who is a former member of Will and now front man for the Bristol, Vermont-based band Cash Is King. “Joanna is a friend of Cara's and was playing with the band for a while,” Marro added. “We loved having her, but she is an amazing woman who wears many hats and her interests were spread too thin to commit to a full-time band. Connor played with Eoin, Dave, Jeremy and I with our old band ‘Will’. He's an incredible musician, multi- instrumentalist and a great friend.”

The beautiful "The Day You Left This Earth" showcases the wonderful vocal phrasing of White and the shimmering guitar strum of Anderson… song that especially hit home for this writer… listening and reflecting on the very day I lost my grandmother. The closing "Horizons" and "Waking Up" fall into this same, reflective sort of serenity that simply pulls you into the song through its' sheer grace and harmonic structures.

Indeed, the subtleties, nuances and quick maturation of this band are quite impressive, especially considering the short amount of time in which they have been together as a unit. It certainly leaves one wondering what they will come up with next, with a whole year of playing together under their belts!

To learn more about Split Tongue Crow, order their debut CD(also available on iTunes)or to inquire about booking a performance, call 802.585.5240, send an email to splittonguecrow@yahoo.com or visit the band on Reverb Nation, Facebook and MySpace. - Cider Magazine


Splitting Aces
POSTED BY DAN BOLLES ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011 AT 12:03 PM IN MUSIC, VERMONT MUSIC | PERMALINK

If you've read this week's edition, you know I'm rather enamored with the debut offering from Rutland's Split Tongue Crow. Essentially a revived version of late Queen City outfit Will — minus Connor McQuade, plus vocalist Cara White — STC picks up where that band left off a few years ago, boasting clean, twangy hooks and gorgeous vocal harmonies. STC are touch more subdued, veering more toward melancholy indie-folk than their rowdier alt-country predecessor. But they are also far more polished and refined. I dig it.

The band has a string of loccal dates coming up, starting with this Saturday's gig at the Shelburne Steakhouse and Saloon. (Yes, really.) In the meantime, here's a clip of Split Tongue Crow's "Horizons," from their newly released self-titled debut. Enjoy. - Seven Days


The annals of Burlington music history are littered with bands that released one great album and then, for one reason or another, fell apart, never to be heard from again. In the early 2000s, Burlington’s Will were one such promising Queen City outfit. The harmony-heavy, alt-country band released an excellent self-titled debut in 2005. And then … well, nothing. Like so many talented local acts, they simply faded away, providing yet another footnote to the story of Burlington rock city.

But in the incestuous local rock scene, it’s not unusual for various members of defunct bands to intermingle and form new ones. (Call it the “Colin Clary corollary.”) In a way, this age-old game of musical chairs provides a comforting sort of continuum. What’s more unusual is when the members of a dead act “get the band back together,” reuniting with essentially the same lineup after years apart. Rarer still: when the new incarnation is even better.

Such is the case with Burlington/Rutland’s Split Tongue Crow. Comprising four-fifths of Will and new vocalist Cara White, the group’s self-titled debut picks up where the band left off six years ago. Time apart has treated the group well. The new record is compositionally sophisticated and emotionally nuanced, combining Will’s knack for breezy hooks with previously unseen depth and maturity.

As with wine, time has mellowed these musicians. Where Will’s brand of alt-country often veered closer to twang-infused indie rock, Split Tongue Crow favor a lighter touch. “Avalon” unveils this refined aesthetic in an airy swell of delicate vocal harmony. Over moody acoustic-guitar arpeggios, lead vocalist and primary songwriter Eoin Noonan delivers a cunning melody, balanced by elegant work from backing vocalist and punctuated by electric guitarist David Anderson’s fluttering eruptions. The result is something like an amplified Blind Pilot, or Delorean in their more melancholy moments.

“No Reservations” is the album’s centerpiece and the finest example of Split Tongue Crow’s metamorphosis. Bright vocal harmonies and swooning fiddle dovetail above Matt Morro’s easy shuffle and former Will cohort (and current Cash Is King front man) Conor McQuade’s organ sustains. It’s among the most overtly “alt-country” tracks of the bunch, but still manages to showcase the band’s newfound finesse. So do the following cut, “Hearts and Valleys”; the White-led “The Day You Left This Earth”; and stunning album closer “Waking Up.”

Sometimes you don’t realize how much you’ve missed something until you find it again. We’ve missed Will but could quickly fall in love with Split Tongue Crow. Perhaps absence really does make the heart grow fonder. - Dan Bolles, Seven Days


Split Tongue Crow

Another band with a CD that just hit the streets — this past weekend — is Split Tongue Crow.

Their self-titled album features amazing vocal harmonies and well-crafted folksy Americana tunes.

Having seen some of these “kids” play in several bands and develop over the years, this is definitely an album of maturity.

Rather than try to impress with flash and crash, they awe with space and simplicity.

Their skill in the crafts of singing, song-writing and pulling the most out of every instrument and blending every note is most impressive.

The production on the album is noteworthy, but I also know for a fact this band’s songs are as good, if not better, live. - George Nostrand- Rutland Herald


Discography

Split Tongue Crow: (Self Titled)
Release Date: December 15th 2010

Photos

Bio

We've been described as folk, newgrass, americana, alt-country, backwoods, indie-rock, lo-fi, acoustic, mountain music, and about everything else you could think of. But personally, we think of ourselves as good old, "hill and valley folk" and as such, think it should be a genre. So perhaps we're coining the phrase. Hey, we're Split Tongue Crow and we play, "hill and valley folk". Simply because our sound comes from who we are and where we grew up, a sum far greater than its parts. We didn't get together in a room one day and say, "hey, lets sound like this" or "let's sound like that". Frankly, there was never and has never been a conversation about "our sound". Our process, like our surroundings, is simply organic and we're proud of that fact. We grew up in the backwoods hills and valleys of the North East United States. So, not surprisingly, that's where our sound comes from. We sound like the hills and sound like the valleys. We sound like us. We sound like Vermonters.