Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Petal Falls – April Cope


I was in my mid-twenties before

I discovered that it was possible

to listen to a song with

pedal-steel guitar, fiddles, and

drawn out vocals without suffering

a severe bout of aural

indigestion. The truth is that

there’s so much bad country music

out there, that the masters of the

form, the people who can present a

song that is both within and yet

deeper than the traditional

boundaries, are hard to find.

For me, the pivotal moment,

was hearing some tracks from

Emmylou Harris. Young Ahseville,

North Carolina songwriter April

Cope may well provide a similar

pivotal moment for someone

afflicted with the same

prejudices, given that her second

album, Petal Falls is

crammed full of quality. Hardly

surprising, given the presence of

some veteran session musicians

like Chuck Prophet, Pete Sears,

and Jim Campilongo.

At the forefront of things,

though, is April’s voice –

distinctive, full of character,

and yet with echoes of the past.

Everything, at the end of the day,

hinges on her voice – a brave

choice that sets her apart from

the crowd.

When everything gels, as on

Black Wing this is

beautiful music that transcends

its genre, like a smile-inducing

surprise. There are gentle touches

taking the song into a timeless

space that take the breath


At other times, though, there’s

perhaps too close an attention

paid to the format, for example

this garden, suggesting a

keen commercial mind, that will

ensure that Petal Falls

gets radio-play, but also keeps it

too rooted in the predictable.

On the whole, though, the album

shows a developed and intriguing


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