This Michigan quartet's chosen band name may make you think of Neil Young, and their cover version of Out On The Weekend, a song from 'Harvest', Young's best-selling 1972 album, should remove all doubt.
Despite the mellowness of this track, the lyrics of a lonely boy who can't relate to joy" are a kind of precursor to Young's 'ditch trilogy' of releases prompted by his fear of being stranded in a no-man's land of middle-of-the-road mass popularity.
Cold Tone Harvest show no obvious rejection of mainstream commercialism yet are not averse to a few mournful ballads of their own. You need look no further than the title track of the band's debut release; a poignant study of grief over the loss of singer/songwriter Andrew Sigworth's older brother.
In a similarly introspective vein, the opening tune, Frozen Ground, is described as "a reflection on the neglected human hearts in impoverished cities" while they bow out with the soul searching Wake Me.
However, theirs is a quietly reflective form of melancholy and you won't find anything dark or despairing here. Their brand of wholesome acoustic-orientated country-folk is, after all, from the bearded, check-shirted school of Americana.
Brian Williams on banjo, upright bassist Ozzie Andrews and Tony Pace,on dobro, lap steel, and electric guitar provide tight, melodic backing for toe-tapping tunes like the the electrified shuffle of Stealing Roots. There's even an invitation to "put on your dancing shoes" during Daniel.
All in all, the crowd-funded album feels like a labour of love and exudes an air quiet confidence that steers well clear of the ditch and deserves to win a wider audience though probably won't.
Cold Tone Harvest's website