The Stray Birds 'Best Medicine' — New Album Review

Mark your calendar for some fresh acoustic musical delights releasing October 21.

I'm talking about The Stray Birds new release Best Medicine out on Yep Roc Records.

Chock full of story-filled lyrics and smart harmonies, interwoven with wonderfully separated string lines and strums, this album offers some heartfelt creativity.

A couple of my faves include "Feathers & Bone," which is introduced with whispery vocal intensity that builds in its urgent story. And "The Bells," is a down and dirty twangin' fast-talkin' tale of caution. Some great lines here both lyrical and instrumental. The title track, "Best Medicine," has a great chorus, chock full of tight harmonies with a catchy melody.

The musical prowess of The Stray Birds is apparent here, as the instrumentation is artfully arranged and vocals never trip over each other. Complemented by thoughtful dynamics and masterful storytelling, Best Medicine should be your next favorite album of 2014. It is definitely one of mine.

The album follows the band’s 2012 highly praised self-titled release, which NPR Music named as one of the Top 10 Folk/Americana albums.

Co-produced by the band and Stuart Martin, the album features 12 tracks, including 10 original compositions and two traditional songs, “Pallet” and “Who’s Gonna Shoe.”

The band – multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven, and Charlie Muench – hails from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. All three are classically trained musicians who’ve been making music of all kinds since childhood (before they reconnected through the local music scene, de Vitry and Muench first met in middle school orchestra); however, they were also all raised with a steady diet of music ranging from pioneers like The Carter Family and Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys to the joyous invention of The Beatles and The Band, to the groundbreaking artistry of Jimi Hendrix.

View the video for the title track here:

Go check it out now at

The band is on tour this fall.
October 17 WXPN ‘Free@Noon’ Philadelphia, PA
October 21 Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA*
October 22 Campus Theatre | Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
October 23 World Café Live Philadelphia, PA
October 24 Godfrey Daniels Bethlehem, PA
October 26 Tellus 360 Lancaster, PA
October 28 The Southern Charlottesville, VA
October 29 Ashland Coffee & Tea Ashland, VA
October 30 ISIS Music Hall Asheville, NC
November 1 Evening Muse Charlotte, NC
November 2 Red Clay Theatre Duluth, GA
November 12 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
November 15 Natalie’s Worthington, OH
November 16 G.A.R. Hall Peninsula, OH
November 19 Caffe Lena Saratoga Springs, NY
November 20 One Longfellow Square Portland, ME
November 21 Higher Ground Burlington, VT
November 22 Circle of Friends Franklin, MA
November 23 Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton, MA
November 24 Rockwood Music Hall New York, NY
December 2 The Southgate House Revival Newport, KY
December 5 Music On Main Street N. Wilkesboro, NC
December 6 Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, NC
December 9 8x10 Baltimore, MD
December 14 Club Passim Boston, MA

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Laura B. Whitmore

Laura B. Whitmore is a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, writing for, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.