The Red River is the third album from Portland, Maine’s Micah Blue Smaldone and the first on Chicago label Immune. His first album, 2003’s Some Sweet Day, was a collection of Ragtime & Country-Blues, a fervently authentic homage to great influences – John Jackson, Blind Blake, Robert Wilkins; while 2005’s Hither and Thither was much more internal, an urgent telling of germination in a harsh climate. The Red River reaches a little further both into the past and the future and was mostly written upon returning from an 11 week European tour in the winter of 2007. The album confronts the malevolence we’ve come to accept in our nature perhaps more out of cynicism than of true understanding. It tells hard tales gently, and in the end offers faith in our capacity for goodness. The album features accompaniment by many fine Portland musicians, including the members of Fire on Fire (Young God Records), a group Micah also plays with. Micah has recently appeared on the new Jack Rose album and just finished a tour supporting Death Vessel (SubPop) where he also played in the Death Vessel band.