Beautiful Blue is the first release by Austin based three piece, Runaway Horse. They take their name from the Emmylou Harris song, Ballad of a Runaway Horse, itself a cover of Leonard Cohen's Ballad of an Absent Mare. Cohen's song was based on the 12th Century Ten Bulls Buddhist texts which were a metaphor about the path to enlightenment.
It's a serene EP, and ambles along in a dreamlike manner. Mari Tirsa's gentle melodic vocals float through the album, and have a hymnal quality at times, especially on the opener, Holy Water. For the most part the instruments stay in the background, keeping the emphasis on the vocals, though Tirsa's own keyboard skills come to the fore on Once. It's only really on the final song, Arrive, that the others move more to the front of the stage, figuratively speaking, especially Rick Richards on drums.
This is highly competent pastoral folk, strongly evoking a sense of the frontier. While Tirsa is an obvious standout, but Daniel Barrett's guitar and percussion in particular really adds to the flavour, along with the aforementioned Rick Richards on drums.
This is perfect for those long cold nights in front of the fire in a frontiersman's log cabin.
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