Nevins explores her country and Cajun roots
Nevinsâ€™ second solo album (her first since 1999â€™s Mule to Ride) hangs on to the rootsy underpinnings of her musical day job with Donna the Buffalo, but cuts a looser, more soulful country groove than does her long-time group. Without a co-vocalist sharing the microphone, Nevinsâ€™ voice carries the album, and without a second writer, her songs stretch out across all her influences, including fiddle- and steel-lined country, second line rhythms and the Cajun sounds of her earlier band, the Heartbeats. The latter appear together on the energetic fiddle tune â€œNothing Really,â€ and individually on several other tracks. Additional guests include Levon Helm (drumming on two tracks), Allison Moorer (tight trio harmony with Teresa Williams on â€œThe Wrong Sideâ€) and Jim Lauderdale (harmony on the acoustic â€œSnowbirdâ€).
Producer Larry Campbell fits each song with a unique groove and adds superb electric and pedal steel guitar. The girlishness in Nevinsâ€™ voice and the layering of double-tracked vocals add a hint of the Brill Building, which is a terrific twist on the rustic arrangements. The lyrics cast an eye on relationships that refuse to live up to their potential, with music that underlines the certainty of a woman who will no longer suffer othersâ€™ indecision, inaction or infidelity. Three deftly picked covers include the standard â€œStars Fell on Alabamaâ€ (from the film 20 Years After), the traditional â€œDown South Blues,â€ and Van Morrisonâ€™s â€œBeauty of Days Gone By.â€ Campbell and Nevins work some real magic here, creating a musical platform that often feels a more crafted fit for Nevinsâ€™ singing than that of her long-time group. [Â©2011 hyperbolium dot com]
MP3 | Wood and Stone
Tara Nevinsâ€™ MySpace Page
Donna the Buffaloâ€™s Home Page