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Donny Hue & the Colors

Folkmote

(Kora; US: 28 Aug 2007; UK: Available as import)

Skewed psych pop ...with autoharp!

Folkmote is a hodgepodge, joyfully diverse, but connective threads elusive, as it winds through caffeinated piano-banging pop (“Real Long Time”), tambourine jangling, Elephant 6-ish head-trips (“Humming with the Flowerbirds”), Panda Bear-like wordless reveries (“For the Last Time Beatrice, It’s Toast”), and even a straight up, four-thudding rock song (“Peter and his Puzzle”). Maybe that’s to be expected, since it collects a loosely organized group of Washington-area musicians into one-off collaborations and casual cameo appearances. Donny Hue—or Ed Donahue to his mom—is the common link. The one-time keyboardist for delicate Meredith Bragg and the Terminals and ex-guitarist for hard-rocking Carlsonics is, perhaps, all over the map, but in an endearing way. Every song is a surprise, but a pleasant one. He brings it all together in wonderful “Mountain Piece” twinkling pianos and fragile pop melodies gradually thickened with rustic guitar and back-rocking drums. It builds momentum, turns almost into a rock song, then dissolves into psychedelic ribbons of dreamy singing. So many kinds of music, so little time… Donny Hue paints with the brightest sorts of colors.

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