Generational Storytelling

Bruce Von Stiers

I get sent some very interesting music to review. From rock to jazz to, well, just about anything. But I do review all kinds of music. I recently received an album from one of my public relations sources. It is an alt folk/ Americana album. The name of the group that it's from is called Single Girl, Married Girl. And the title of the album is Three Generations of Leaving. It is definitely an interesting album.

The songs on the album tell the stories of three generations of women from the same family. Hence the title of the album. From the 1950's through today's world, the songs reflect the life and times of these three women.

The band features Chelsey Coy on vocals and banjo. She is joined by Shannon Soderlund on harmonies and backing vocals, Charlie Rauh on acoustic and electric guitars, John Gray on upright bass and electric bass and Oskar Haggdahl on drums and percussion. Each member has been with the band for quite a while.

Helping out on the album was Thad DeBrock on pedal steel and baritone guitar, Mary Lattimore on harp, Phillip Kronengold on piano and organ, Burt Levine on banjo, Callie Galvez on cello and Haruka Horii on violin.

The album was recorded at New York's Rift Studios. Tom Gardner was the engineer and producer for the album. Among his other credits, he had a Grammy nomination for his work on the Chromeo album Head Over Heels.

The album has eleven songs and a play time of thirty-seven minutes.

The first song is Walking On Water. It is a soft, banjo laden song that deals with a woman basically having to raise children on her own and trying to figure a better way.

So She Runs has a faster pace. It has sort of a pop folk sound from a couple of decades back. The music is melodic and the vocals are tremendous. It's about a young woman running away from her life to see if the grass is greener somewhere else.

Wreck Cut Loose is a mellow, yet aching song.

Looking moves into a decent Americana styling. It has nice vocals and decent drum backbeat. There is also some good pedal steel.

A sad, but beautiful song is The Widow.

Scared To Move has some wonderful harp music backing great harmonizing vocals.

Secret is a solid ballad with good guitar and terrific vocals.

Hurt Her So deals with trying to deal with the hurtful things that people did and said to her.

Mellow guitar backs soft and gentle vocals in Runaway.

Control has a nice alt folk sound.

The album concludes with The Flood. It has an almost country sound to it. She's looking for him, but what will she do when she finds him?

Usually when I write about a song, I just include a little bit about it and what it deals with. It was kind of hard to do with the songs on this album. That is because each song furthers a single story along from the previous one. At least that's what the songs seem to do here. Some albums have a central theme. But is uncommon to have an album continue one story from the first song through the last. That makes Three Generations of Leaving very unique.

I enjoyed Three Generations of Leaving. The music was very good and the vocals were excellent. And the songs seem realistic, as if the songwriters had first-hand knowledge of the people involved in the story.

You can find out more about Single Girl Married Girl at the band's web site at


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© 2021 Bruce E Von Stiers