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Tara Nevins releases her new album ‘Wood and Stone’ tomorrow, Tuesday May 3rd! Amos Perrine reviewed the album for No Depression. Here is an excerpt from the review. Please click the link to read the full post.


“Wood and Stone” is likely the solo album that many Donna the Buffalo fans have wanting. Tara has said the songs on the album are about relationships and begins, fittingly enough, with the title track about her own family, her home, mixing the inorganic and the organic that makes family life the foundation of one’s own journey. . . .  . . . .

Produced by multi-talented Larry Campbell and with only a few extra special guests, Levon Helm, Teresa Williams, Jim Lauderdale and Allison Moorer, it’s very much a solo album with a band and recorded in Woodstock at Levon’s studio. Tara as singer-songwriter is front and center here. As much as I have listened to “Mule to Ride” during the past twelve years, I, like many other Donna fans, have also yearned to hear Tara in her own voice, on her own terms. The new album is just that — and more.

Upon repeated listenings to “Wood and Stone” I find that the album seems to be two albums. The first half is the result of constant touring with the band, are very Donna-like and you can easily see these songs as part of their sets. It will please any Donna fan, including myself. But whether purposeful or not, the transition for me is separated by the album’s only instrumental track, “Nothing Really,” that is smack dab in the middle of the album.

The album vears away from an overt Donna influence with “What Money Cannot Buy” and, again purposefully or not, Tara’s vocals become stronger, more upfront. The next song, “The Wrong Side,” is a highlight, about a bad breakup and moving on. Replete with swing fiddle, pedal steel and electric guitar solo breaks, you can easily see it a hit song back in the 1950’s — commercial country music’s artistic highpoint.

But even that great track did not prepare me for what comes next, the only song Tara did not write, the jazz vocal standard, “Stars Fell on Alabama.” Opening with a mournful fiddle and Rose Sinclair’s poignant banjo and even though I am familiar with at least two dozen other renditions of the song, it’s as though I heard it for the first time. It is stunning in its quietness.

I asked Tara during a conversation at MerleFest about the genesis of the performance, especially as it was also the only song not recorded at Levon’s studio. She was asked by the people who made the 2008 movie “20 Years After” to do the song in a more Americana mode. While the movie was unsuccessful, Tara’s version continues to haunt me.

Following the very uptempo “Down South Blues,” the album turns introspective again with “Tennessee River” that’s driven by Larry Campbell’s fuzz electric guitar and Justin Guip’s heart pounding drumming. It takes your breath away. The album’s final track is a near spiritual, “The Beauty of Days Gone By.” Closing out the circle of relationships with reflections on a life lived, memories and the relationship we have with ourselves.

By concentrating on the latter tracks, I do not mean to slight the others, it’s just that the second half of the album seems to come out of a different place, a deeper well that is as invigorating as it is mesmerizing.

READ THE FULL POST HERE: http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/tara-nevinswood-and-stone

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Keller and the Keels “THIEF” has been getting lot of great attention this year! There are a couple of popular voting contests running now with it on the list: check out WNCW’s top 100 list here & Leeways Homegrown Music Network voting here. THIEF will make a great stocking stuffer too (Please just do not steal it, or it will turn into a lump of coal overnight…)!

Here is a fun review of Thief in the WV Rock Scene Blog and below is one from Bluegrass Unlimited. Click here for the full post.

If  Keller Williams is reading this, we just want to come out and admit that we didn’t pay for Thief. But we didn’t illegally download it or anything like that. Judging from Williams’ liner notes, we don’t want to get off on the wrong foot. [When you buy a copy of the CD; you will see the “Karma Warning”… I’m not going to spoil it for ya though 😉 ]*

But let’s set up exactly how much we wanted to hear the CD first.

A few phrases we’ve coined here include: “The best things come to those who wait,” and “Better late than never.” Both describe our feelings on landing a copy of this 13-song cover CD.

Getting hooked up with the second installment of Keller Williams’ collaboration with Larry and Jenny Keel seems like some sort of cosmic convergence of the most awesome kind.

And in case you didn’t know yet, Keel, the critically acclaimed, much loved flatpicking master, shreds. It would be great to hear him play some metal. Jenny rocks the upright bass and, together, Williams (a star in his own right) and the Keels take songs — maybe not even their favorites, exactly — and, kind of like The Ramones did with songs from rock and roll’s past, put their own unique countrified bluegrass stamp on them.

Remember when you first heard about a bluegrass cover CD of AC/DC songs, and your mind kind of reeled? Hearing Williams and the Keels cover Butthole Surfers, Cracker, Presidents of the United States of America, The Raconteurs, and yes, Amy Winehouse, might seem like a stretch, but they nail it.

They even cover “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground. Remember that friggin song? This might make getting that Marcy Playground tattoo seem like a good idea, which, maybe not so much.

More obvious songs for the trio to steal may include “Cold Roses” by Ryan Adams, “Wind’s on Fire” by Yonder Mountain String Band, and“Mountains of the Moon” by the Grateful Dead. Bookended by a pair of Kris Kristofferson songs — he stands to make the most money offThief royalties, as Williams points out in the liner notes — this is a great CD to play on a sunny day aimless drive around town, doing chores, or anything else you wanna do.

The most awesome song for us to hear was “Pepper” by Butthole Surfers. Like over a decade ago, we wore out that Electriclarrylandcassette we had. Williams even does a good Gibby Haynes voice.

But the title of the CD is a slight dig on the whole stealing other people’s songs to make a record, and the tendency of you people to download music for free, and not supporting the artists.

Even though we were late getting this, we are so glad to have got hooked up with it. Apparently there was a Keller and the Keels Play Your Couch type contest. Hopefully that person cleaned off their couch.

But for us, we’re gonna go burn a Grass/Thief compilation CD. And of course, we won’t let anyone steal it off of us.

READ THE FULL POST HERE: http://wvrockscene.blogspot.com/2010/11/cd-review-thief.html *Dreamspider’s addition

Bluegrass Unlimited just released a review today. Click the link for the full review, here is an excerpt:

When I first received Thief, the second set of cover songs recorded by Keller Williams and Larry and Jenny Keel, I fully expected my review to end up in the “On The Edge” section of this magazine. Williams’ music floats on the quirky yet inventive side of the jam band scene, and The Keels have always had an open mind about their Virginia ’grass. … Thief, on the other hand, flows wonderfully throughout with great arrangements and expanded musicality.

The unusual cover-song choices here will seem odd at first glance. But, the positive approach and upbeat grooves makes this CD fit in the “regular” review category just fine. Williams handles most of the lead vocals, while all three keep their acoustic instruments humming throughout. Larry Keel’s leads are excellent, especially in the case of rollicking and infectious versions of Patterson Hood’s “Uncle Disney” and Ryan Adams’ “Cold Roses.” Both Keels sing harmony and Jenny’s bass playing is as solid as ever. Other covers include “Switch And The Spur” by The Raconteurs, “Get It While You Can” by Danny Barnes, Cracker’s “Teen Angst,” “Bath Of Fire” by Presidents Of The United States Of America, the Grateful Dead’s “Mountains Of The Moon,” and Yonder Mountain String Band’s “Wind’s On Fire.” Even when the trio takes on the Amy Winehouse song “Rehab,” it isn’t done in a gimmicky way, but instead rocks right along.

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