"Following a series of records with Thrill Jockey (including the sensational Seasonal Hire with Steve Gunn), the Black Twig Pickers return to the VHF mothership to continue their charming and original take on old time and Appalachian-inspired string band sounds. Together since 2001, and a continuous presence in the music's true home of Southwest Virginia, the Twigs represent the actively working evolution of the traditions -- learning songs from other locals, playing dances at the Floyd Country Store, etc -- without retroartifice or nostalgia. The ragged-but-right performances and recording (and Sally Ann Morgan's perfect cover design) sit at the ideal intersection of DIY/'underground' and local string-sound values. On Friend's Peace, the band travels a range of styles, from the lovely harmony on the trad-classic 'Moonshiner' to the racing fiddle/guitar/banjo on the 'Money Musk' medley. Mixed in with the traditional songs are several perfectly-placed original tunes, including Mike Gangloff's keening 'Cara's Waltz' and Isak Howell's solo guitar spotlight on 'Barnswallow'." - Vhf.