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'Homestead Hands'   

-  Label: 'Self Released'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '4th September 2018'

Our Rating:
Rocky Steen-Rolfzen is the lark Jeff Rolfzen is the loon. The husband and wife duo, get their stage names from the state birds of their respective birthplaces - Minnesota and Eastern Montana respectively.

The couple's second album is inspired by the prairie life and is described as "a testament and love letter to the tenacity of country life". They draw upon stories passed down through generations, going back to ancestors who settled on public land in the western United States as a direct consequence of the Homestead Act of 1862.

Nature, community and place are therefore the key themes, exemplified in the opening track Code Of The West which features anecdotes about how to survive and form a community and in Ozark Mountain Home, a homage to their Arkansas homestead.

There's some nice earthy slide guitar on Give My Regards To Mr. Hickok but the intention is never to be raw or gritty.

The good-natured homely charm of the record is evident in The animated video for The Old Red Rooster. This song is about the separation of families during the mining boom of Deadwood and Spearfish Creek, but any heartbreak is glossed over in the song's focus on keeping the flame of love alive through an exchange of letters.

The songs are based on actual events and genuine emotions yet they are essentially escapist in tone. The main motivation appears to be to get as far from the mean old world as possible; and who can blame them?

The Lark & the Loon's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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LARK AND THE LOON, THE - Homestead Hands