Fricke's Picks: The Pines' Stark Country

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The Pines — stark-country singer-songwriters Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt — have a thing for speed: They recorded their fine new album, Tremolo (Red House), in two days, half the time it took them to cut 2007's Sparrows in the Bell. But there is no undue haste in Tremolo's quietly gripping tension. A state of emergency runs through these songs (like "the turnstile of greed and fear" in "Pray Tell"), but there is safe haven too, even if it's just a dream of love in "Shiny Shoes," and the Pines get there with a warm, drawling poise in their voices and spare, resonant picking.