The Malvinas, “God Bless the Grass” (Soona Songs)

malvinasIt’s not easy being a folk trio when your furthest members, Breaux Bridge resident Gina Forsyth and Canadian Beth Cahill, live 1,650 miles apart (in between is Texas refugee Lisa Markley, now of Woodstock, New York). But since The Malvinas’ 2001 inception, the group’s tight-knit chemistry has kept them together, even when playing only a handful of gigs annually.

On their third album, they demonstrate why they’re not Malvina Reynolds revivalists per se but do follow in their iconic namesake’s footsteps, such as on the title track led by Forsyth’s splendid finger-picked guitar lines. Their harmonies are often breathtaking and the group seamlessly blends elements of first generation folk, Cajun and Appalachian music with Cahill’s pop-sheen vocals and Forsyth’s driving fiddling.

Unlike Reynolds, who wrote topical songs, the Malvinas’ seven originals are rooted more in personal experiences, such as love lost and love gained, and observations like the seemingly aimless teenager on Cahill’s “Moses.” Though Forsyth’s “Somewhere Off the Foot of This Mountain” is reprised from her 2001 You Are Here release, it’s still a powerful statement of coming into one’s own being and holding steadfast to that identity.