Black Prairie (from the album A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart - The Black Prairie debut felt a little like a side project for Decemberists members, Jenny Conlee and Chris Funk. Jenny shows up as a guest musician on multiple album credits and Chris is not only a strong session wing man but also works behind the board both producing, and playing on, numerous projects. What was immediate on the Black Prairie initial outing, and what is set in stone in the group’s recent release,A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart, is the love and dedication that all the members of Black Prairie have for Roots music.
Black Prairie brings acoustic roots playing into songs that defy labels, truly granting the sound an American Roots label. Though Chris Funk and Jenny Conlee-Drizos still lend their first rate chops, the other members of Black Prairie round out the sound, particularly vocalist Annalisa Tornfelt. Her voice, in duet with Jenny’s accordion on “How Do You Ruin Me” takes the tune between a lonesome plains wail and a Parisian café tease.“Winter Wind” delivers a sonic chill equal to the title. Black Prairie is a group of first-rate players, as evidenced by the instrumental work on “Dirty River Stomp” and “For the Love of John Hartford”.