SALLY ROGERS and Howard Bursen are the kind of folkies you'd like to get washed ashore with after the deluge. Their banjos, guitars and dulcimers would float in on the tide, they'd reach into the songbook in their heads, and pretty soon you'd have that sense of community the best folk music can define.
On their new album, "Satisfied Customers," Rogers and Bursen spend a lot of time on two themes: working and loving. Bursen's "The Small Business Blues" is a caustic commentary on conglomerate greed's debilitating effect on hard-working dreamers, while Craig Johnson (of local favorites the Double Decker String Band) contributes "Way Down the Road," an agonized portrait of Southern workers adrift in a hostile North. On the latter song, Rogers and Bursen are joined by Claudia Schmidt in some raw yet lovely a cappella singing. Throughout the album, the harmonies are exquisitely underplayed, vocals twisted round engaging melodies.
While there are several instrumentals and two traditional English folk tunes here, the centerpiece of "Satisfied Customers" is a trio of songs written for weddings: John McCutcheon's lilting "If I Were a Featherbed," Tom Gala's haunting "Abelard and Eloise" and Bob Franke's exuberant "Beggars to God." Rogers and Bursen, who happen to be married to each other, confirm just how many-splendored a thing love can be.
SALLY ROGERS & HOWARD BURSEN -- "Satisfied Customers" (Thrushwood 003); Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Washington Ethical Society Auditorium, 7750 16th Street NW.