WAYS OF ESCAPE (ORANGE TWIN)
Great Lakes formed in Athens, Georgia in 1996. Founded around the songwriting partnership of Ben Crum and lyricist Dan Donahue, with multi-instrumentalist Jamey Huggins and a rotating cast of several other players.
They released an eponymous debut in 2000. Over time Huggins began to switch his focus to other projects, and Crum and Donahue relocated to Brooklyn, releasing The Distance Between in 2002.
Diamond Times appeared in 2006. In 2009 Donahue moved back to Athens, leaving Crum to carry on in New York.
2010's Ways of Escape is the first of their records to feature Crum as the primary songwriter.
With its frank and personal folk- and country-influenced songs, the record has a bare emotional style that's far from the innocent optimism and lighthearted psychedelia of the band's early records.
Adorned with gentle guitar, stately piano, beautiful pedal steel, soulful organ and subtle yet powerful drumming, Ways of Escape is distinguished by the accomplished musicianship of the group of veteran players who made it.
With Crum singing and playing guitar, it also features Kevin Shea on drums, David Lerner on bass, Jay Israelson on piano, Joe McGinty on electric piano and organ, Jon Natchez on bass clarinet and saxophones, Heather McIntosh on cello, Linda Rosenbury on violin, Phillip Sterk on pedal steel, and Suzanne Nienaber singing backing vocals.