Harmonies highlight old-school country album from Amy Gallatin and Roger Williams

Reviewed by Brooke Curtis

Amy Gallatin and Roger Williams/Something ‘Bout You

What is missing from country music these days? Just about everything that is on Amy Gallatin and Roger Williams’ Something ‘Bout You. You can call me a purist even though my introduction to country music was through the film Urban Cowboy more than 20 years ago. But once you hear the greats – Patsy Cline; Hank Williams, Sr.; Johnny Cash; etc – it’s really hard to stomach the designer jeans stitched by Nashville since achy-breaky hearts were broken in the early ’90s. Gallatin and Williams belong to the old-school country crowd, which is oddly finding a devoted audience amongst indie college kids these days.

For authentic, whiskey-drinking, beef-jerky munching Americana, it doesn’t get any more pure than Something ‘Bout You. There are no slick studio add-ons here, just the melodic voices of Gallatin and Williams accompanied by traditional country instruments such as pedal steel, fiddles, and mandolins. The harmonizing of Gallatin and Williams is delicious to to the ears; on the title track and “I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name,” the duo reach emotional highs and lows with eloquence and heartbreaking drama. The singing alone makes this record one that is highly recommended. However, the music rises to the challenge of capturing the wounded sentiments of its vocalists. Listen to Wayne Benson’s radiant mandolin playing on “Forever Has Come to an End” and tell me that you’re not touched.

http://amygallatin.com

Published in: on March 25, 2008 at 7:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lisa Dudley EP offers heartwarming patriotism with old-school country

 

Reviewed by Carson James

Lisa Dudley/I Believe in America (EP)

To say that Lisa Dudley’s music sounds as if it was released decades ago is an understatement. One track in particular, “Bring ‘Em Home, Lord,” captures the mournful twang of vintage country so well that it gives me flashbacks to an era I never lived through. In other words, like those classic black-and-white films they air on cable TV, “Bring ‘Em Home, Lord” has a haunting time-machine pull. Dudley’s rhythm guitar, Bo Brown’s mandolin and dobro, and Jonathan David Brown’s bass sound as if they’ve just returned from a Patsy Cline recording session. Then there is Dudley’s voice – fragile, sobbing, and filled with Gospel yearning. The shocker is that the performance, the lyrics, and the music are all new. Take it into the context of the Iraq War, and “Bring ‘Em Home, Lord” suddenly hits the world of today.

While the other two cuts on this emotionally stirring EP, the title track and “Twenty-One Guns,” don’t have the retro rush of “Bring ‘Em Home, Lord,” there’s no denying Dudley’s country-gold singing style. Free from the bogus pop seasonings of many of today’s country artists, Dudley returns the genre to its roots with her singing alone. The patriotic bent of this CD might be too sweet and sentimental to youthful cynics, but it is heartwarming and always a joy to listen to.

http://www.lisadudley.com

Published in: on March 9, 2008 at 5:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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