The Court & Spark
San Francisco's The Court and Spark play country music with a ghostly twang, but you can't really call them Alt country. That is, they're not trying to figure out what Gram Parsons would sound like if he were alive and playing with the Replacements. And this is a good thing. They ooze the kind of amber-honeyed Americana that makes you wish it were still easy to get a hold of some 'ludes to watch the sun set over Laurel Canyon. The songs here are dreamy, backlit, hayseed swirls of pure pastoral escapism. Electric B-bends and mellifluous pedal steel notes flow like water off a riverboat's wheel under intertwining male/female vocal harmonies that dance under desert stars like the spirits of two outland lovers. If you prefer your wistful music twangy, toneful, and soulful then perhaps you have already heard the Court and Spark. If you haven't, you might want to pour yourself a glass of whiskey and burn some smoke, for while the band provides a hearty aural sphere, they do leave a little cosmic space opened and unfolded for the individual listener to crawl in and make themselves feel at home.