"Eight Ball Blues" is like Townes Van Zandt doing a Traffic song and "How Little You Needed Love" kicks someone in the shins like nobody's business: "You're a tyrant, you're a car wreck/And when you're dying it will feel good to know you were alone then/And you're alone now."

Nye does all right with the dark and moody, too. He's best when he fronts "Red Dress," full of haunting banjo and repeating phrases that take on new meaning with each recitation. While Davis holds onto syllables for just that extra beat to warble a twang, Nye's husky and tired and pained.

They make quite a combo, these two. Bluegrassers are always murdering their cheating women and falling down wells of despair, and you wonder how much of it is a put-on. Perhaps it should be troubling that I never doubted the Coloradas for a second.

Sam Pfeifle can be reached at sam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.

THE COLORADAS | Released by the Coloradas | with This Way | at One Longfellow Square, in Portland | Jan 20 |  thecoloradas.com

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