''Farthest Field'', aka ''The Duets Project''

One of the most haunting and lovely songs of 2011 was Kentucky-born singer-songwriter Daniel Martin Moore’s cover of Appalachian folk music pioneer Jean Ritchie’s “In the Cool of the Day”, which served as the title track to Moore’s sophomore solo album. Listening to it gives me the shivers every time. I’m not as taken with Moore’s originals, but when he sings a traditional hymn, you get a strong sense of someone brushing a layer of dust off a box of hard luck memories from the attic.

In the not quite 18 months since that album’s release, Moore has kept himself plenty busy with the launch of his own record label, Ol Kentuck, to, in his words “help release some of the beautiful projects that I saw happening all around me.” The first such project was indeed very beautiful – a collection of lullabies by a female vocal trio called Maiden Radio.

Maiden Radio “All the Pretty Little Horses” (2012)

Moore’s latest project is a collection of duets he put together with Maiden Radio’s Joan Shelley. It’s another quiet, intimate album full of delicate, pastoral melodies called Farthest Field and was just released earlier this week. Here’s a video for the album’s first song:

Daniel Martin Moore & Joan Shelley “First of August” (2012)

You can listen to the whole album below. Right now, I think my favorite track of the bunch is the bluesy simmer “Sweetly By” with its rolling melody – Lover, come sweet and slowly, Lover come sweetly by – and great lead vocal by Joan. Talk about making love in the green grass.