The Larimores comprises two of Nashville's most experienced songwriters and musicians - namely Denny Smith (who you may know from his frontman role in the excellent The Great Affairs) and ace producer Joshua Ketchmark - and the experience of the two shines through in this polished and professional collection of four expertly written and played tracks. Originally part of a dozen demo songs written for another artist, when that project fell through, Denny and Joshua decided to bring four of the tracks up to a releasable standard - and jolly glad we should be that they did.
'The Hail Mary EP' is a delightful, enjoyable release with four varied tracks that shows off the duo's talents to their full extent. Kicking off with the beautiful, languid 'Over The Moon' with its plangent piano, tight-knit harmonies and 'Oasis doing the Beatles' vibe, the EP also boasts sparkling acoustic guitars meshed with angelic harmonies, and is interspersed with glistening electric guitar interludes on an adult-oriented pop-rock EP that also has its fair share of rootsy Americana. Second track 'Thrift Store Hearts' could be taken straight from Whiskeytown's magnum opus 'Strangers Almanac' with its distinctive acoustic guitar riff, world weary lyrics and 'late night bottle of whisky' feel. 'For The Record' contains some great chord changes amongst its tougher sounding guitars while EP closer 'Beautiful & Tragic' brings to mind the roots rock of Counting Crows and Soul Asylum and possesses stridently strummed acoustics and soaring electric lead guitar in another fabulous track.
A side project for both artists 'The Hail Mary EP' shows Mid-American rock and pop (with lashings of Americana) at its best, and a full length release would be a great addition to Denny's and Joshua's discographies. For the moment, these four tracks will have to suffice, but if smart songwriting, brilliantly produced records and expertly played music is your thing, this will hit the spot perfectly.
'The Hail Mary EP' is available on the digital streaming site of your choice.