Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This is my second review of Fort Defiance. I reviewed Worry Has No Home in December 2016. I found them through a promotion I ran in ReverbNation and in both instances, Fort Defiance rose to the top as one of the best acts that submitted music. The Haunts of Youth is every bit as good as Worry Has No Home but the style has changed. This collection has a bit of a Gothic feel to it, probably because of the fiddles that seem to be playing some morose music. Don’t let that description dissuade you in any way. It is unique, well executed, and completely sincere. It is hard to ask for more from a band or artist.
Fort Defiance is an Americana husband and wife duo from Nashville, Tennessee, consisting of Jordan Eastman and Laurel Lane. They may conjure up thoughts of other male/female duos such as Mandolin Orange and Shovels and Rope. That is fine because the music world needs more of these duos. Fort Defiance is soothing and easy to listen to. The hard part is hitting the stop button. Once I start listening, I have a very hard time stopping. The voices of Eastman and Lane blend so well together, that my ears crave the sound.
The sound is definitely traditional but with a twist. They take some great calculated risks with the instrumentation and with the vocal styling that make this what I would call modern/traditional. Actually I just call it great music, because that is all we need to know.
Is it possible to write a good song about sausage that is not a novelty song, but encompasses themes of longing for family and friends? The answer is a definite yes. Goetta Picnic (Track 9) does just that. For those of you that are unfamiliar, goetta is a German style sausage similar to scrapple that is popular in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. The song is really about food and how that brings people together and really solidifies our memories of family and good times. This is a very upbeat and happy number about a pork product. A winner!
All of the 14 songs on this collection are winners. This is just great, well executed music that deserves to be heard. Don’t let this fantastic release go away without a trace. Do your part to support this fantastic duo.