The Ballclub plays with real verve and lightness of touch, and Burch himself sings...
Dan Hill 2002-11-20
Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee - as the sleeve notes assert, "the home of country music" - but rarely does a record this good come straight outta Nashville. Burch formed the WPA Ballclub in 1994, as "a new kind of country septet" - one which can care deeply about both Hank Williams and fresh approaches, and "Blue Notes" is their best record yet. The Ballclub plays with real verve and lightness of touch, and Burch himself sings like an angel, albeit an angel wearing a Stetson. As well as the Jimmie Rodgers influence, several of Burch's songs - particularly the perfectly-honed "Isolda" - are on at least first-name terms with some Sad-Eyed Ladies of the Lowlands and Girls from the North Country. No bad thing. But I doubt if anybody, Dylan included, has written a more quietly beautiful song than "Willpower" in the last few years.