A friend of mine made 30 bucks playing guitar on the street the other day. Granted, 20 of that came from a nice old lady who espied him digging through a trash can for lunch. It wasn't the usual trashy street music you gave 50 cents to last summer. He plays something more like the Mountain Breathers: deliberate and slow, light and heartfelt.
Missoula's folk duo channels airy guitars and lofty voices here on their first release. From the start, you might say to yourself, "Oh, this is a nice Jack Johnson album I haven't heard before." It's full of those familiar hoo-ooh-ooh choruses and acoustic solos. While it isn't a carbon copy of that radio-friendly sound, Chase McBride doesn't stray far from finely tuned harmonies and simple songwriting. The occasional cello is a solid difference and is an excellent choice for the low-end. Cellos always have that dramatic, let's-take-a-drive feel, which works on "Theresa" when they sing "You've got the prettiest face / Put me, put me in your suitcase."
It's hard to resist Mountain Breather's style. It's like the missing part of the Garden State soundtrack: good music for watching rain drip down window panes (take that, Colin Hay).
Mountain Breathers play Draught Works Sunday, July 15, at 4 PM. Free.