Run Down the Rails

Just as the “country” in country music need not refer only to America, such instruments as mandolins, fiddles and twangy guitars aren’t just for hat-clad, boot-scooting genre purists. That’s the takeaway from Run Down the Rails, the sophomore effort from this Canadian duo. Theresa McInerney and Trevor May know their Hank, Johnny and Willie, but they come at Americana via ’90s R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs. McInerney shares much in common with former Maniacs frontwoman Natalie Merchant—and whether ruminating on death (“Car in the Parking Lot”) or losing herself in the promise of the road (“Fisherman’s Blues”), she sings with confidence and tenderness.

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