REVIEW: Two Bird Stone explores bluegrass and Celtic sounds on “Hands and Knees”


Two Bird Stone is a project of Liam Thomas Bailey, a multi-instrumentalist who has played alongside Rodney Atkins and Brett Eldridge, among others. The new album Hands and Knees is the result of Bailey’s efforts to focus on writing original material that spans bluegrass and Celtic sounds.

After the mellow title track that has a bluegrass feel, the band takes a turn toward Celtic rock. Not that you’ll want to start a circle pit when you hear “Shoebox Money,” but the guitar and the vocals are both more rock in this song than its predecessor.

Lots of songs have been written about relationships, and about the moments that begin relationships. “When Somebody Can See Your Soul” tells the story of a guy who works up the nerve to approach a woman, and they realize that they have a connection that goes far beyond the few moments they have known each other. Bailey sums up the moment perfectly by singing, “A passing stranger who you’ve never met. You can feel it when someone is looking at you.”

This isn’t rowdy music. All of the songs are pretty mellow and the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee. That being said, it’s easy to imagine hearing these songs in an Irish pub and singing along until the doors are closed.

At its heart this is a folk album. The interesting thing is how the folk sounds are blended. The instrumentation is typical of both Celtic and bluegrass bands. But then the band also folds in some bayou influence with the accordion, and Bailey ties it all together with soulful vocals. The effect is something like if a bluegrass band did an unplugged session with The Pogues somewhere in Louisiana. Hands and Knees was released on September 11 and is available everywhere now. Order your copy here.


Liam Thomas Bailey – lead vocals, banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar
Chad Kelly – button accordion
Dan Rowe – acoustic guitar, piano, vocals
Kenny Vaughn – electric guitar
Judd Fuller – bass, vocals
Jeffrey Clemens – drums, vocals
Greg Simmons – drums
Sarah Siskind – duet vocal, harmony vocals
Basic tracks recorded at The NuttHouse Recording Studio, The Shoals, Alabama; engineered by Jimmy Nutt, assisted by Cody Simmons
Overdubs recorded at The Ocean Way Studios, Nashville, Tennessee; engineered by Joe Martino and Austin Atwood, assisted by Ryan Yount
Additional tracks recorded at Echo Mountain Recording, Asheville, North Carolina; engineered by Kenny Harrington
Additional engineering by Dan Rowe
Mixed by Shani Ghandi

Mastered by Eric Boulanger at The Bakery, Culver City, California, assisted by Jett Galindo


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