Twinemen

Somewhat surprisingly, Dana Colley and Billy Conway have shown great determination and resilience in the three years since the death of their former Morphine bandmate, vocalist/ two-string bassist Mar

Somewhat surprisingly, Dana Colley and Billy Conway have shown great determination and resilience in the three years since the death of their former Morphine bandmate, vocalist/ two-string bassist Mark Sandman. First they formed a nine-piece touring outfit dubbed Orchestra Morphine to pay tribute to their work with Sandman. Now, they return with a member of that act, singer Laurie Sargent, and a new studio project, Twinemen, on their own Caroline-distributed Hi-N-Dry imprint. With a number of friends lending a hand, Colley and Conway (saxophonist and drummer, respectively) amble through some of the same, smoke-filled, dark alley sounds of Morphine, with Colley and Sargent at times sounding strikingly similar to Sandman and Cowboy Junkie Margo Timmins, respectively. While Boston's Morphine prided itself on providing maximum soul through the most minimum of instrumentation, Twinemen embellish their songs with keyboards, organ, pennywhistle, and guitar, which was rarely heard on Morphine's albums. As always, Colley and Conway don't allow the playing on the album to overwhelm the song; they continue to stretch and experiment with the traditional song structure. A solid chill-out record and a first step forward album-wise, this collection of often hypnotic cuts sees Colley and Conway trying different things. The soulful "Harper and the Midget" seems to point the way toward the obvious next step.—WO