CD Review: The Ormewoods “The Bedroom Sessions”

Posted: August 19, 2016 in Music
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ormewoods_bedsessions_cover_web_phixrClaire Pearson and Don McCollister are two singer-songwriters who have the history behind them that proves they know how to create hit songs. In their own ways, Pearson and McCollister have had their hands in making other people sound great in the studio. Don McCollister has helped people like Sister Hazel and Shawn Mullins and more while Claire Pearson has worked as a songwriter in Nashville while also collaborating alongside Nashville recording artist Heidi Higgins as The Daffodils. Joining forces as songwriters (as well as husband and wife), Pearson and McCollister started writing music together. Their newly-formed collaboration is called The Ormewoods. Recently, The Ormewoods celebrated the release of their new album called The Bedroom Sessions, an album that was literally created inside the couple’s own bedroom.

The new release from The Ormewoods begins with the track “Sidelines”. The track features a strong folk-rock feel with a very strong emphasis on the “folk” side of the sound. It is the mandolin on the track that stands out as the dominant instrument and that mandolin helps to push the pace of the song. The resulting song sounds like a combination of folk and bluegrass. The vocals from both Claire Pearson and Don McCollister added to that folk/bluegrass sound help to create a track that feels very “classic” in its origins. Pearson and McCollister’s vocals help to create a solid duet type of song. “Sidelines” sounds as if the song would have been created back around the turn of the 20th Century. That type of retro feel to the music prepares the listener for other songs that also make use of older musical influences.

The Bedroom Sessions from The Ormewoods continues with the track “I Do”. While the previous track takes the listener back in time for a retro sound, “I Do” is a track that would easily fit onto any modern-day Country format. The track contains a light pace to the music with just a little production value that helps to add a lot of texture to the song. The song features Claire Pearson as her vocals come more to the forefront with Don McCollister adding background vocals to the song. Unlike “Sidelines” before it that would not fit today’s Country formats, “I Do” would easily fit onto today’s Country radio stations. For the next track of “Back to You,” The Ormewoods take their music into a more pop-like direction. The track takes on a more acoustic folk-rock sound and leaves behind the more Country-like influences. The resulting song has a very commercial sound that could appeal to many different groups of music lovers. Making full use of Don McCollister’s writing abilities and Claire Pearson’s vocal delivery, “Back to You” sounds ready-made to be a full-blown radio crossover.

“Hey Babe” finds the duo of stripping down their sound to just an acoustic guitar and some light percussion. The resulting music sounds like something that would have come from a band like Jefferson Airplane, and with the vocals from both Pearson and McCollister, that comparison gets even stronger. “Hey Babe” has a style that is so timeless that it sounds very familiar.

“Delaware Ave.” is another track that features a light, acoustic feel to the music. The inclusion of cellos within the folk music makes the track sound as if it could have been written and produced by the likes of Simon and Garfunkle. The track even has lyrics that are reminiscent to Art Garfunkle’s writing style.

Adding a little more of a modern sound to the track “Sleep Like Strangers,” Pearson and McCollister create a song that brings to mind the harder side of Sarah McLachlan. The acoustic rock featured on “Sleep Like Strangers” ends up making the track with perhaps the most energy of all of the tracks on the Bedroom Sessions release.

One of the standout tracks on the release is “Year of Mercy”. The track consists of a driving guitar part that goes along with lyrics of needing a break from all of the bad things that have happened. With the track “Year of Mercy,” The Ormewoods prove that they have the talent as songwriters. The track has already earned the duo awards for runner up for Best Folk Song 2016 by Song of the Year Songwriting Competition and nominated as Best Folk Song of 2016 by the American Songwriting Awards. “Year of Mercy” is one of the best tracks on the album.

Coming from two songwriters that have created hit after hit for other artists, The Bedroom Sessions from The Ormewoods is jam-packed with tracks that are very commercial in their sound. From the first track to the last song, the release sounds like a greatest hits collection. For a first release, this album has everything you want in an album and so much more.

The Bedroom Sessions from The Ormewoods will be released in September 2016. Until then, to hear some of the music from The Ormewoods, go to the duo’s ReverbNation profile.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm of RMG Artist Development.

Edit: The Ormewoods have released a video to the track “Hey Babe“. Click HERE to watch it.

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