Chicagoâ€™s Immune label presents a split between two rootsy Maine projects. Micah Blue Smaldone is a Portland guitarist and songwriter working with a couple collaborators, notably a knotty old piano. â€śThe Muleâ€ť sits somewhere between a country shuffle, blues, and Fleetwood Mac, a stomping repetitive groove driving tender, warning vocals and tight backing tracks. â€śTell It To The Sunâ€ť is another slow, expansive acoustic narrative, breezing along with unhurried instrumental interludes.
Big Blood is the work of Portlandâ€™s Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella, who make music â€śwhile their daughter is sleeping.â€ť As such, itâ€™s more intimate, looser, with lush vocal harmonies and shimmering tape-effected guitar layers. â€śThe Queen Her Courtâ€ť is an epic, soaring ballad turning on the refrain, â€śNo one sees the crime / but my true love and I.â€ť â€śSisterâ€ť pairs Neil Young vocal flavor with Magnetic Fields instrumentation with gorgeous falsetto harmonies, eventually breaking down into a surprisingly emotional electronic miasma. â€śKentucky Babeâ€ť floats away like a dream. A solid offering, this, continuing Immuneâ€™s eclectic string of successes.