Country Folk

Country Folk, the local acoustic duo consisting of singer/guitarist/songwriter Tom Haithcock and guitarist Rick Krekel, has released its second CD, and it’s an enjoyable, pleasantly Dead-influenced offering. A veritable who’s who of Chico musicians helps out on almost every track, the songs benefiting from the additional weight of their considerable expertise.

The briskly paced opening cut, “Tears of Rage,” borders on bluegrass, thanks in large part to Mark Wilpot’s driving mandolin and Barney Barbour’s bass. Boz Scaggs’ “Now You’re Gone” (the only cover on the disc) is rounded out by Dee Dee Vest’s vocal harmonies and John LaPado’s pedal steel guitar work.

Haithcock’s vocals are likable and serve his songs’ lyrics well, conveying a kind of weary yet warm quality, like somebody who’s survived an accident—shaken up but glad to be alive and now seeing the absurdity of the incident. Overall, the CD is suggestive of the duo’s live performances, particularly when it hosts the seemingly once-a-month “Folk Nights” at Stormy’s. Worth a listen.CD contact info: