Longtime pals The Lonesome Trio deliver twangy self-titled debut

Portrait of Blue Grass / Folk band The Lonesome Trio, with Ed Helms, Ian Riggs and Jabob Tilove, photographed by celrbity photographer Dale May.

‘The Lonesome Trio’
The Lonesome Trio (Sugar Hill)
3.5 stars out of 5

Though this self-titled gem is their first album, The Lonesome Trio have been playing music together for more than 20 years. Ed Helms (guitar/banjo), Ian Riggs (bass) and Jacob Tilove (mandolin) met as students at Oberlin College and have been playing music and writing songs ever since. Helms has gone on to acclaim as an actor (TV’s “The Office,” “The Hangover” trilogy), while Riggs works as a full-time musician and Tilove is an architectural historian.

The Lonesome Trio CD“We decided right out of the gate that the three of us needed to do the whole thing,” Helms says of the record-making process. “But we opened the door to lots of additional instruments and layers. The only rule was that we do it ourselves. I’m proud of that. It was more important than any crisp perfection in the execution and I just love it. That’s our spirit. There is no sound on that album that didn’t come from the three of us.”

The 12-track collection of originals blend acoustic folk, bluegrass and country into a tasty sonic stew ideally suited for the terrific Sugar Hill label. Twangy gem “Asheville City Skyline” gets the party started, and The Lonesome Trio also shine bright on “Appalachia Apologia,” “Whiskey Drink,” “The House Song (SunfgBy a House), “High Road, Low Road” and “All Gone to Hell.” I don’t know if The Lonesome Trio have plans for future endeavors … but I sure hope they do. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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