…there are more moments of lightness and beauty throughout the set, even on tracks like ‘Lowlands’, a shell-shocked chorus-less piece charting the reaction of a country after the 2016 election. It’s a typically outraged response to the result, as many songs since have been, but among angry crunchy guitar riffs, there is a glimmer of hope and honesty, in this case sonically provided by Doug Lancio’s banjo lines, a sound that cuts through the darkness. But by the end of this splendid album, positivity and simple faith in humankind and love come to the fore in ‘Love that Makes a cup of Tea’, a simple lesson in hopefulness inspired by Peters’ mother.
Gretchen Peters has reacted to the adoring reception of Blackbirds by writing an even better album in Dancing with the Beast. It is a recording that tackles deep subjects through strong characters and starkly beautiful song-writing, all kept perfectly balanced by subtly inspired musical arrangements. This is assured, highly impressive work from all involved.
To read this review in its entirety, visit Folk Radio.