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Erik Friedlander: Nighthawks

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For all the devastation left in its wake, Hurricane Sandy fortunately didn’t leave New York City a total wasteland. But given the metropolis’ usual vibrant bustle, it certainly must have felt that way as residents abandoned their homes and power outages left the streets quiet and dark. That feeling is reflected on the second CD by cellist-composer Erik Friedlander’s Americana-tinged Bonebridge band, fronted by the unusual combination of Friedlander’s cello and Doug Wamble’s slide guitar.

The title of Nighthawks is a nod to Edward Hopper’s iconic image of urban loneliness, and much of the album shares that painting’s atmosphere of surreal solitude, residing in a concrete-paved badlands. It starts on a cheerier note, with the springy round-robin folk groove of “Sneaky Pete” and the down-home lilt of “Clockwork,” from which Wamble spins twangy acoustic filigrees. But it soon takes a turn for the moody on “Hopper’s Blue House,” which pairs Wamble’s high-lonesome slide playing with Friedlander’s howling cello lamentations.

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