3 out of 4 Maple Leafs
All those still mourning the gaping hole in the emerging “new-grass” scene left by Nickel Creek might find comfort in “Adrienna Valentine,” the latest release from Harrisonburg, Virginia-based singer/songwriter Trent Wagler.
“Valentine” is overflowing with lush bluegrass harmonies highlighted by Wagler’s warm, unique lead vocals and Jay Lapp’s expert mandolin picking and backup singing. They seamlessly transition from the upbeat folksy twang of “Darlin’ Cory” and “Honey Bear” to the beautiful, subdued Americana sounds of “Corinne” and “I Will Love You.” “Riverside” effectively blends Wagler’s blues influences with a gospel choral arrangement.
It’s the eponymous track “Adrienna Valentine” that really steals the show, though. Just like the song “Blue Heaven” from Wagler’s 2006 album of the same name, “Adrienna … ” is simple, gorgeous and haunting, and it will stick with you long after the rest of this fine album has faded away.
“Adrienna Valentine” is currently available for download from the iTunes store or at www.cdbaby.com/cd/waglerlapp.