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Album Review: The Maple Trail - Cable Mount Warning (2012 LP)

THE MAPLE TRAIL

The Maple Trail offer a little more than run of the mill folk. The melodies are at times brilliantly eerie, with the instrumentation keeping a steadily relaxed rhythm.

Aidan Roberts’ voice is wonderfully detached, seemingly distant, and yet right there in the mix. His timbre suits the music perfectly. Already established as co-songwriter and lead guitarist of Belles Will Ring, The Maple Trail is Roberts’ solo effort, but by no means an unknown quantity having recorded material under this pseudonym since 2007.

So no, they’re not a Canadian band as you might be forgiven for thinking. Once you hear the music, you’ll probably go back to believing they are from Canada, and once again you may be forgiven. It’s got Rocky Mountains written all over it. Actually, Roberts is from the Blue Mountains so maybe it’s the mountain vibe.

Somehow, opening songs all have great appeal and this album is no different. “Captain Dies” is a standout track with a suitably maritime vibe. It’s not overt though so don’t mistake me for describing a drunken sailor. The first single to be lifted, “The Dinosaur Hunters” has a more straightforward country rock feel with some elegant arpeggios that are familiar enough, though relatively original. “This Dead Moon” begins in an unconventionally dark mood, but transcends this with the subtly hopeful strings that soon follow. Nostalgia is then abundant in “Barking Dog and Swallow”; an appealing little ballad sure to be a hit with the campfire set.

Everything considered, Cable Mount Warning is a solid effort offering a somewhat unconventional take on folk. Nothing earth shattering though.

Review Score 6.0 out of 10