Often forgotten is the long agricultural heritage of the great state of California and the country and western music that has grown up out the stories of the working life of small towns, orchards, and farms. The sounds of this other California come to life on ‘Ghost Town Girl,’ the new album from the talented trio Echo Sparks. The 10 tracks are built around the tandem vocals of CC Kinnick and DA Valdez, who are supported on upright bass from Cindy Ballriech and surrounded by guitar tones that are equal parts jangle and twang, along with some creative percussion, accordion and organ.
The album opens with a rollicking western rocker of lost love, “Broken Arrow,” then easing back a gear for the loping road song “Rolling 60’,” that paints a picture of the California countryside. The swinging “Princess of Fresno” is a detailed dishing on a gal who’s a bit full of herself. The lovely waltz ‘Mexican Moon’ highlights the partnership of the skilled vocal duo and the dichotomy of Kinnick’s smooth alto and the gritty tenor of Valdez. The danceable “Shallow Water” has some fine Bob Wills styled flair, and you can smell the dust and kerosene of a barn dance in the title track, punctuated by banjo and marching snare. Kinnick stretches out playing a women scorned during the saucy “Torch Song,” before the album closes with another high lonesome love song, “I Think It’s You.”