12/24/2013 The Pitch, Album review , 'Reflecting on eight of 2013's best local releases'
Between her spirited fiddle playing and rustic, mountain-girl vocals, Betse Ellis stands as a charming captain for Kansas City folk. Though High Moon Order features a couple of old-timey covers — "When Sorrows Encompass Me 'Round" is especially haunting — it's more than a tribute to Ozark music. The appeal lies not in the familiar sounds but in the unexpected ones. Ellis deftly weaves a musical narrative from a blend of fiddle, guitar, viola, cello and piano arrangements, over which she airs out her dusty voice. On "Twilight Is Stealing," Ellis is gentle, singing what might be taken as a lullaby; on "The Complainer," she injects a raucous hillbilly flavor and lets her talents fly wild. With its subtle diversity, High Moon Order is an easy folk treasure.