Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Bethany & Rufus: 900 Miles

And the second-generation beat goes on. First, there was the platinum splash made by sitarist Ravi Shankar’s daughter, Norah Jones. Then Jen Chapin, echoing the moralist vibrancy of her troubadour dad Harry, began a slower, though no less impressive, ascent. Now, Bethany Yarrow, offspring of Peter (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame), is, in tandem with cellist Rufus Cappadocia, carrying the folk-fueled family torch. In addition to boasting an iconic dad, Yarrow also shares with Jones and Chapin the distinction of a keen, dusky-voiced musicianship that blurs folk, rock and pop. Working her way through more than a century’s worth of material, traveling from the traditional railroad work song “Linin’ Track” and the antique title track’s wayfaring blues to Jesse Winchester’s gently infectious “Isn’t That So?” and Phil Ochs’ achingly beautiful “No More Songs,” Yarrow sounds eerily like a softer-edged Patricia Barber. Consistently proficient as she is, it is, though, Cappadocia’s brilliance that gives this disc its remarkable sheen. His palette, extending from the baroque majesty of “No More Songs” to the Nashville kick of “If I Had My Way,” is incredibly rich and, as superbly demonstrated on the Spanish lament “Asturiana” with its intriguing dirge/hymn dichotomy, amazingly clever.

Originally Published