Former music radio host Mel Lee wrote that the Clymer Kurtzes’ songwriting “has a high level of originality: lyrically, melodically and emotionally. Their vocal harmonies are striking, and their arrangements are fresh.” Later he added, “I don’t think they fit any easy categories, except that of excellence and artistic integrity.”

That’s only become truer and truer, as regardless of the configuration they assume, the ongoing visionary depth effected by their everyday sophistication is fueled by the touches of so many influences from country, choral, rock, jazz, bluegrass, a cappella, and folk music.

The bold nuance of their 2014 release Rain may have precipitated a new, electrified chapter of sound, but not at the expense of the textured harmonies and lyrically keen palette exposed on earlier albums Arms Uncrossed (2012) and Statements and Clues (2011). Those roots persist as the Clymer Kurtzes’ repertoire of increasingly expansive songwriting breathes musical drive and emotional complexity: fun and intensity, the daily and the whimsical, challenge and satisfaction -- and a smattering of hopeful detours.

Grounded in the rural, small-town, and urban blend of Virginia’s fertile Shenandoah Valley, songwriters Christopher Clymer Kurtz (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars) and Maria Clymer Kurtz (vocals, acoustic guitar, keys, percussion) have performed as an acoustic duo since 2002, with Craig Zook (vocals, drums) since 2009, and since more recently with Nick Hurst (vocals, bass).