Lancaster folk trio The Innocence Mission had been hard at work for a decade by the time they broke through to mainstream recognition with “Bright As Yellow” from their 1995 album Glow. While it remains their best-known song on a certain level, the band’s best work was truly ahead of them.
Singer-guitarists Karen and Don Peris lead the band with a deft combination of wistful melancholia and hopeful melodies, delivered at a measured, meditative pace. Their 1999 album Birds of my Neighborhood hit emotional touchstones both in its minimal acoustic arrangements, and in the album’s interpretive b-sides – including the divine Gus Gus remix of “Snow,” which I pretty much had on constant repeat in the winter of 2000.
This year, the band released Hello, I Feel The Same, its ninth album, and it shows that even at their 30-year mark, the Perises are still able to reach those same emotional centers in a collection of songs about memory, faith, family and travel – it’s a blend of melodic beauty and a quiet sadness, and the band delivers terrific performances of three songs from the record for our final Key Studio Session of 2015.
The interplay between the warm baritone guitar of bandmate Mike Bitts and Don and Karen’s acoustics and singing will take your breath away on “Down on the Boulevard,” while Karen’s voice shines on “Blue and Yellow” and “When The One-Flowered Suitcase.” The band also revisited its 2007 record We Walked in Song with “Brotherhood of Man.”
Stream the session below, download it for free here via Soundcloud and see The Innocence Mission at the Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival on Friday, February 26th. Get more information on the show here.
the innocence mission, The Key Studio Sessions