Review: Anya Hinkle – Eden and Her Borderlands

If you’ve at all followed the Americana/string band/bluegrass scene coming out of Asheville NC over the last decade or so you just may have come across Anya Hinkle’s distinctive vocals in the bands Dehlia Low and Tellico. The last couple of years have given her the time and space to grow as a solo artist and Eden And Her Borderlands is where it’s come to fruition.

One of the great things about music is that it can be an escape from the cares of the world, and a bit of humor at the same time never hurts. “Why Women Need Wine” is the first single released from the album, and it will have women nodding and men chuckling (or is it vice-versa?), while at the same time the song takes a stand for womens independence. I won’t even describe the song, the title alone should stir your imagination, and you can scratch your curiosity by checking out the video below. 🙂

Just like “Why Women Need Wine” this whole album is full of contradictions (the GOOD kind!). The last few years have touched everyone’s lives, from the pandemic and its isolation to (whether you like it or not) politics. You can delve into deeply personal songs like “Lady Luck”, “My Faithful Sparrow” and “The Hills of Swannanoa”, or explore the life of our times in “That’s How Every Empire Falls” (R.B. Morris and also a noted John Prine cover) and “What’s it Gonna Take” (co-written with Graham Sharp of the Steep Canyon Rangers). Or you can just lean back and let the steel guitar and dobro carry you away with the rest of the band.

The other good contradiction is that while this is a “solo” album Anya warmly embraces being “part of the band” both musically and as part of the community. Coincidentally, my favorite song on the album is “I Belong To The Band” (the only cover on the album), a soaring, upbeat take of Rev. Gary Davis’ gospel tune, and if that doesn’t lift your spirits and set your toes tapping then there just isn’t much hope for you!

Anya’s distinctive vocals along with the steel guitar and dobro combine to create a gliding swing that moves easily between bluegrass, folk and country. In the end “Appalachian String Band” is the best description of this album, and it sure is a gem!

Guitar/vocals: Anya Hinkle
Dobro: Billy Cardine
Pedal Steel: DeShawn Hickman
Bass: Daniel Kimbro/Johnny Calamari/John Weisberger
Drums: Nick Falk
Fiddle: Julian Pinelli
Mandolin: Thomas Cassell
Cello: Duncan Wickel
Banjo: Mary Lucey
Harmony Vocals: Wendy Hickman

Mark Hudson

Mark Hudson is a long time local HVBA member and music lover who, unfortunately, had to move away. He misses the local scene but will look for you at Greyfox!

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