Yosh and Yimmy – Three Rivers
At first, I didn’t think this would qualify as Americana-Roots music. Yet, listening closely this is a credible undertaking. Right from the start, “Early Sun,” has a beautiful ambiance with a quirky type of melodic approach short & sweet. The production is excellent on this Mason Shirley (electric guitars/bass/pedal steel/banjo), Yosh & Yimmy produced CD.
Now with a strange duo name like Yosh & Yimmy (humor somewhere?) you’d think this is comedic material. It’s not. Their harmonies are tight in a Lowen & Navarro, Everly Brothers & Brewer & Shipley mode.
One thing’s for sure the melodies are memorable, infectious & definitely expressive. They add vocal color to otherwise simplistic lyrics & suddenly something that could be painted by numbers is a classy oil painting – not by a master but classy.
“Down & Out,” is vigorous vocalizing with a wailing Ty Dietz (harmonica) throughout. Quite stimulating & exhilarating.
The tunes were recorded in Texas & the duo manages to sing in different tones so it’s hard to pin down who they might sound like on any one song. Their influences whether intentional or unknown come easy to experienced ears. They do sound good. A nice bottom bass & then bright instrumentation with mandolin, acoustic guitars & unified vocals.
“Without a Barrier,” — harmonizing has maturity & hovers in a warm Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam realm. It has that old edge that Cat/Yusuf explored in his classic 70s albums. It’s not imitation it’s skill since the Yosh & Yimmy “sound” dominates. But it dominates beautifully with a delicacy that doesn’t come from musicians who just play well. This is one powerful masterful song.
The 46-minute 12-cut Three Rivers (Drops June 24– Independent) is a well-balanced collection of songs with the added value of faithful vocals that work solo & in tandem. The songs have character & are constructed with lots of emotional notes stylistically & all well-conceived. They resonate with ears that enjoy music that is articulate.
The instrumentalists are all precise & tight – Yosh & Yimmy is an intentional mispronunciation of the names Josh Glenn (lead vocal/harmonies/acoustic guitar/banjo/looping) & Jimmy Willden (lead vocals/harmonies/ acoustic guitar/banjo). With Kris Redus (drums/percussion/hammered dulcimer), Andrew Reyes (piano/keys), Owen Stroud (organ), Melodie Chase & Emily Nelson (cellos).
Not all songs are fertilized perfectly but a walk in the Yosh & Yimmy garden of music is a pleasant journey. Each tune manages to bubble-up fascination – they’re not without their sense of humor. This translates to possibly an entertaining show live.
My only criticism is the name of the duo. It doesn’t correspond to the excellence in music. It made me think the CD was fraught with novelty songs. I almost passed. Humor is a good thing but when it comes to marketing your name it could lead to confusion. Just a thought.
B&W photo: Jake Gonzales-Sleight Productions. CD @ Bandcamp & https://yoshandyimmy.com/