Tillers Folly has one terrific song on their latest full-length, Go the Road. The many moods of “Death & Taxes” veer between resigned, mournful, wistful and enraged, powered by haunting banjo and Bruce Coughlan’s powerful vocals and clever lyrics. It’s an outstanding song, and coming as the second track on the album, it promises an inventive and surprising trip through the world of neo-traditional acoustic music.
Alas, that trip never quite materializes. There’s nothing wrong with most of the songs on the album — they are competently performed by the band’s fine musicians and a bevy of guests including Sam Bush, Jeff Autry and many others — but there is little to burn them into the listener’s memory the way “Death & Taxes” does. “Go the Road” and “I Was Here” are both moderately energetic acoustic romps, while Coughlan’s voice carries softer material such as “Closing In on Midnight”. Listeners are apt to be diverted pleasantly enough while the music is playing, but they’re also apt to quickly forget it once it’s done.