The Barn Swallows is a folk duo from the Pennsylvania hinterlands, between Philadelphia and Reading. Their tuneful, folk-country sound is based squarely in the ancient folk, bluegrass, and blues traditions of the "old, weird America", while simultaneously presenting a quirky approach to their originals and unusual covers that is modern and unique.
Sandy Pluta (vocals, dobro, guitar, and mandolin) and Matthew Gordon (vocals, guitar, harmonica and mandolin) built up a loyal following as two-thirds of the popular trio Blue Moon, playing together for over a decade. They formed the Barn Swallows in October 2006 to focus more on their songwriting, harmonies, and original works.
The twang of Sandy's dobro, along with her haunting country voice, bring to mind shades of Hazel Dickens and Iris Dement, and lend an authenticity to the Barn Swallows' rootsy approach to the music. Hailing from Western PA in the foothills of the Appalachia Mountains. Sandy’s sound is solidly grounded in the gritty red clay of Appalachia, yet the honky-tonks of Tennessee, and the windy skies of Texas, resonate as well. Her deeply personal songs explore the disappointments and yearnings of relationships in a simple, direct manner.
Matthew's guitar work and smooth vocal harmonies perfectly complement Sandy's sometimes fragile, emotional sound, as well as her more gutsy tunes, providing dynamics and strength to the music in carefully measured doses. Matthew takes the vocal lead on some songs, particularly on his originals, many of which involve tales of engaging characters and adventures, and explorations of the variety of feelings captured in a single moment of time.
Together, their music is soothing and spacious, drawing the listener in with bright and intriguing dobro and guitar work, and lyrics that are deceptively simple, yet profoundly poetic.
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