Press for “The Holy Coming of The Storm”

Cahalan and Eli are making music that the world needs.”
-Tim O’Brien
January 2011

“This is quite extraordinary!”
-Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
January 2011

“Eli and Cahalen sing about all of it. No note is left unreflected upon.
They understand that when it comes to music, we are all on the receiving side,
even when we are the ones playing it.”
-Dirk Powell
December 2010

“There’s a subtle joy to be taken from the description of them given on their website as a “new-old time duo” but, to go one better, and listen to their album, “The Holy Coming of the Storm”, you may realise that Cahalen Morrison and Eli West have made quite an important album. Why important? Well, history shows us that some of the best-loved songs known to have been recorded have been the work of two people. In the Seattle-based pairing of Cahalen Morrison and Eli West, there appears to be a musical understanding not paralleled since the days of Flatt & Scruggs. For bluegrass enthusiasts, this album is a must-have. Provided that they continue in the manner which they’ve started, this act surely could attain success on an endless horizon. A total joy from the beginning to the end.”
-Peter McGee, Bluesbunny Music Reviews
Glasgow, Scotland
February 2011

“In just a few lines I can hear a country twang, a bit of the high Celtic sound, and it really sounds thoroughly American, the mixing of different musical traditions.”
-Jen Hitt, Bluegrass Country, WAMU 88.5

“The album builds around, at least in my mind, the tightly wound tensions and rhythms of the title track; a coming storm. In parts of the country, not Seattle, storms build in the same way and can be seen coming from the distance, bringing an unnerving and ominous feeling as skies redden and darken and the world battens down the hatches. In those final quiet moments before it lets loose this album was born and lives. There’s a sparseness too it, an echoing quality that would sound marvelous in Chaco Canyon.
I will also say this, often acoustic old-time albums are not perfectly played. Notes are missed, or bent up when they should have gone down. Harmonies waiver from the melody, banjo rolls drift momentarily out of sync. Sometimes this is charming and fun in a raucous sort of way. Other times, it is a distraction. On “The Holy Coming Of The Storm” there is not a missed note, a false line, or a haphazard slip left behind. This records is an intentional one and all the better for the care these men took polishing it. It shines.”
Iaan Hughes, The Real Mr. Heartache
Seattle, Washington
February, 2011

“One gets the feeling that either of these musicians could step forward and take over with emphatic, egocentric playing and singing. Instead, they seem to have a profound reverence for the music and a considered appreciation for the whole of their endeavors.”
-Dustin Ogdin, No Depression
January 2011

“Some wonderful stuff here,”
-Frank Hennessy, BBC Radio Wales
January 2011

“In a city and era that can seem crowded with ‘genericana,’ there’s no chance of Morrison & West getting lost amongst the new crop of beards in Ballard. Because when someone says Morrison & West are of another era, they’re not talking about warm Laurel Canyon harmonies; they’re talking dust-bowl dirges, lightening-quick finger-picking on a clawhammer banjo, and twang that recalls tintype portraits. Morrison & West’s vocals are more like Dan Tyminski, than Graham Nash.”
-Abbey Simmons, Sound On The Sound
December 2010

“A really superb album with a real depth of emotion in the performance that you don’t always get in this type of music. Yes, they’ve got all the licks and tricks you’d expect of top class musicians, but there’s something a little bit deeper here – an indefatigable purity which isn’t all about the technical know-how -but just from the heart”
-Bruce MacGregor, Travelling Folk, BBC Radio Scotland (and Blazin’ Fiddles)

“The easy critical impulse is to point out that Cahalen Morrison & Eli West sound like they’ve stepped out of a crackly record or wax cylinder from the 1920s. And it’s easy for a reason: They’ve got the kind of classic voices that beautifully complement roots music and, sure, they stick to the old-timey instruments. But any schmuck can chew on a corncob pipe and call it a nostalgia act. Morrison & West can write gorgeous, solid songs with harmonies that’ll wake you up in the middle of the night when your subconscious remembers how fine they are. That kind of songwriting isn’t nostalgic. It lasts, is all.”
-Paul Constant, The Stranger, Seattle
December 2010