BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
A communal combo as well as a supergroup of sorts, The Orphan Brigade more than measure up to the sum of its parts. Despite its sprawling line-up, rotating regulars Neilson Hubbard, Joshua Britt, Gretchen Peters, Ben Glover, Barry Walsh, Kris Donegan, Heather Donegan, Danny Mitchell, Will Kimbrough, Natalie Schlabs, Eamon Mcloughlin, Audrey Spillman and Kira Small find common ground in songs of resolution and resolve, music that absolutely soars with genuine passion and purpose. “Flying Joe” and “Pile of Bones” suggest vintage circumstance via folky sing-alongs, but the tracks that fall in-between — “Town of A Hundred Churches,” “Bells Are Ringing” and “Osimo (Come To Life)” in particular, look towards the heavens, sweeping the listener along with impassioned hymns of promise and praise. Every song is massively moving in its own way and there’s not a single offering that doesn’t stir up the sentiment, whether it’s the heartfelt balladry that echoes through “V.I.T.R.I.O.L” or the breathless beauty of the solemn yet reassuring “Pain Is Gone.” Two albums on, The Orphan Brigade find inspiration with hushed deliberation and dramatic rallying cries that consistently stir the senses and resonate with every majestic refrain. As 2017 comes to a close, this remarkably moving masterpiece clearly qualifies as one of the year’s best. It should not be ignored.
DOWNLOAD: “Town of A Hundred Churches,” “Flying Joe,” “Osimo (Come To Life)”