Although The Custom Shop is equally at home blasting out blues, rocking the R&B or soulfully and skilfully navigating Motown tinted waters, Ballads of Yore finds them at their most understated, most chilled and considered. The chorus might be built on bigger dynamics and a fuller band sound but the charm of the song comes in its mellower moments, when pianos skitter and chime and distant saxophones add wonderful musical detail around the edge of the song.
But as finely wrought as the song is it is nothing without the killer vocal to really carry the sonic ball over the musical line and Molly Orlando hits it just right, a masterful mix of subtlety and power, gentle balladry to powerful deliveries. Ballads of Yore is one of those timeless songs, part country, part blues, part rock all mixed in and underplayed to perfection, heavily nostalgic but never cliched, emotive, sensitive and soulful. They don’t make them like that any more!