Country Music People May 2019 - Page 51

SILVER LAKE 66 Ragged Heart  1/2 Blue Earth County / Ragged Heart / Broken / Faded Tattoo / Tender / Check Out To Cash / Hard Thing To Do / Like A River / Broken Dreams And Cigarettes / Such A Mess Producers: Maria Francis, Jeff Overbo & Bryan Daste Saw Tooth Monkey Music 36:32 Silver Lake 66 are an Americana-country duo from the U.S.A. They are Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo, who, in the 1990s were in a band called The Ruby Trees. The new album is Silver Lake 66’s second, following 2016’s Let Go Or Be Dragged. The duo have great musical taste as a list on Spotify proves. On that list we find Dori Freeman, Eilen Jewell and Kelly Willis. The first song, Blue Earth County, is a foot-tapping country song with Jeff Overbo on lead vocals. Bryan Daste is featured on steel guitar and proves himself invaluable. Maria Francis has one of those voices that was meant to sing country tunes and she takes over the lead vocal on the title track, Ragged Heart. This song is even more country than the first one. Things get even better with the old-school country duet Broken, which has added strings. Also worth hearing is the quality mid-tempo country of Like A River, which features a lead vocal from Jeff Overbo. The album ends with Such A Mess. It’s a powerful, melodic, ballad about loving someone who is “a mess”. Silver Lake 66’s new album is a country affair, quality songs well-sung by the duo. Bryan Daste’s steel guitar adds atmosphere and at times a sad edge. Their website calls them an Americana-country act but on this new release it’s all country. This seems to be the right road for Silver Lake 66. Readers who favour “proper” country, should like this one. Paul Riley New releases COLEBROOK ROAD On Time – Mountain Fever BILLY RAY CYRUS The SnakeDoctor Circus – BMG ALBERT LEE The Classic Albums – Greyscale JUSTIN MOORE Late Nights And Long Necks – Valory KIEFER SUTHERLAND Reckless And Me – BMG VARIOUS ARTISTS Cold War Countdown – Omni CASEY BAKER When The Party’s All Over  It Was Only Me / Should’ve Been / I’m No Longer Your Fool / Lonely For Love / We Don’t Care Enough To Fight Anymore / You’re A Good Man / Life Has Taken Its Toll On Me / When The Party’s Over / I Want You To Want Me To Stay Producers: Jesse Sims & Pat Manske Independent 39:15 This is a delight of a debut album. The debut single from it, It Was Only Me, is already picking up credible radio plays throughout Casey Baker’s home State of Texas. I can see why, it is a strong song which manages to bridge the gap between traditional country and a more modern interpretation; and it showcases Casey Baker’s voice perfectly. Of course I have no idea what plans may already be afoot for the second single but I do hope Life Has Taken Its Toll On Me is in with a chance; Dobro and drums driven with a well crafted lyric and sweet fiddle fills, I can see European country radio liking it a lot. I felt there was a slight Irish feel to Should’ve Been, maybe that’s just because there seem to be quite a few songs by female artists coming out of the Emerald Isle at the moment that have a similar beat, but the quality of the playing on this lifts it above those others. I had dipped in and out of this one a couple of times but the first time I was able to sit and listen to it properly in its entirety coincided with the anniversary of the passing of Tammy Wynette; listen to When The Party’s All Over and We Don’t Care Enough To Fight Anymore and imagine a young Tammy emoting the lyrics, especially the spoken word verse on the second one. But Casey Baker is an innovator not an imitator, these are modern songs which encompass a nostalgic feel and as such the whole album should appeal to a wide audience of real country fans. There are currently no plans to bring Casey Baker to Europe but I very much hope this release picks up sufficient airplay and, of course, sales to make a visit viable in the not too distant future. What we have here is a well produced and well presented album of new songs which should be a welcome addition to any serious country music collection. Chris Smith APRIL MAY 2019 - cmp 49 51