Posts Tagged ‘Folk’

Image may contain: one or more people

It was back in late 2007 that alt-country singer-songwriter Ryan Adams released his album entitled Follow the Lights. On that album, Adams created a song called “If I Were a Stranger,” a track that came rather late in the seven-track release. The tracks contained on that album had a sound that fell directly in the middle of the alt-country genre with “If I Were a Stranger” being equal parts Country and Rock and Roll. Now, more than a decade later, Puerto Rico native Leeane Melendez (here on out to be referred to by her stage name of Reina Mora) has released her version of the track as a follow-up to her last single of “Trouble”. For her version of the track, Reina Mora has stripped the track down to a bare minimum as the track contains the sound of an acoustic guitar, bass and cajon, all played live in the studio. “If I Were a Stranger” features the sound of the acoustic guitar and the cajon helping to form the basis for the track with the addition of the cello as the instrument helps to add texture and some bottom to the body of the song. The track feels as much like the acoustic version of “If I Were a Stranger” from Adams’ one performance on David Letterman he where performed solo as it does like one of Reina Mora’s own tracks, which proves she wanted to stay close to the original material but also wanted to add her touch to the song. The track blends together the two styles of both Reina Mora and Ryan Adams as the song contains both a strong Folk approach and a strong Pop feel to the music. The five-minute playtime on the track shows that Reina Mora and the musicians backing her up on the track simply allowed the track to play out in its own way. Like the single of “Trouble” before it, “If I Were a Single” shows off only one side of the talent from Reina Mora. With this and the previous single, the upcoming album release from the singer-songwriter is shaping up to be a rather strong album.    

To hear Reina Mora’s version of the song “If I Were a Stranger,” click HERE.

Advertisements

Singer-songwriter Caroline Ferrante started out on the South Side of Chicago where she gained her knowledge of theater and voice. With this added knowledge, she ended up in the Washington, D.C. music scene where she has been making music ever since.

As a solo musician, Caroline Ferrante is constantly adding to her collection of songs. She has several releases under her name at the moment. Having already released Live from the Belfry, and Sky, Ferrante returns with yet another release called Beyond.

Beyond from Caroline Ferrante sets itself apart from her earlier releases as Ferrante shifted her style to take on a religious feel to the music on the four-song EP. While Ferrante stays true to her Folk music background, the addition of religious themes and words gives the tracks a much different feel than what had come before from the singer-songwriter.

Caroline Ferrante begins her Beyond release with the track “River Flow”. The track begins with a strong beat that is the result of several people clapping their hands and stomping their feet to create a rhythm for the rest of the instrumentation to go on top of. The rather strong beat in the song is met with the sound of an acoustic guitar that helps to create the actual music for the song. What is created is a sound that is Folk-Rock at its best. The lyrical content of the spirit being a river that washes the singer clean helps to bring the religious meaning of the song to life. The inclusion of other female voices blending together with Ferrante’s voice helps to create a strong chorus in the track. “River Flow” contains a strong musical approach to start the EP off strong.

The Beyond release slows down a little on the track “Peace Be Still”. Where the previous track of “River Flow”contained a strong beat providing a powerful backdrop to the rest of the music on that song, “Peace Be Still” is much more relaxed in nature. And while the previous song also contained a strong, religious message, the EP’s second track is much more relaxing to listen to. The laid-back feel of the music once again comes from the acoustic guitar; but this time, the instrument is played with a gentler approach. The soft, laid-back approach on the music works well with the lyrics about seeking the chance to find inner peace when everything around you is not the way you want it. As Caroline Ferrante sings the lyrics, she produces a crescendo in his delivery near the end of the track that is very reminiscent of the same type of build up one would expect from the late entertainer Kate Smith who was known for her pinnacle version of the song “God Bless America”. While the previous song on the release may be a stronger track because of its energetic feeling, “Peace Be Still” has its own strength in its musical beauty.

The energy level goes way up on the next track of the four-song Beyond EP. The track “A Little More Faith” finds Caroline Ferrante joining forces with a Gospel choir to bring the song to life. And with the combination of Ferrante and the chorus, there is definitely a lot of life in the song. The music of the song contains a Folk-Rock approach with a stressing on the word Rock. The entire musical ensemble blends their various musical and vocal talents together to create a track that is one of the strongest points within the four songs included in the release. The music and the vocals come together to create a track that is sure to fill up your ears as you listen to the song.

Beyond from Carolina Ferrante comes to a close with the track “Hear Your Name”. This track is one of the more spiritual tracks of the EP as Ferrante sings to and about the one above. The guitar and piano found on the track blend together to create a musical sound that is beautiful and easy on the ears. The feel of the music, the lyrical content and the vocals delivery from Ferrante all combine to create a track that feels very reminiscent of a rather well-known singer within Gospel music circles- Amy Grant.

If you had to come up with a one-word description for Beyond, the latest release from Carolina Ferrante, “Energetic” is probably the word to use. Right from the start, the listener experiences the Folk-Rock of “River Flow”. Then, the pace decreases as it slows down on the song “Peace Be Still” but the intensity on the track does not decrease. As the release continues, the other tracks help to finish out the EP with both beauty and strength.

To check out the music of  Carolina Ferrante, check out her song “Peace Be Still“. 


Wild Side

The very definition of the musical genre called Americana is: “a genre of American music having roots in early folk and country music”. But every so often, someone from outside of America comes along who adds their flavor to the music. That outside influence from the likes of someone like New Zealander Keith Urban helps to keep the music fresh as that artist helps to push the boundaries of the music. You can now add yet another outsider influence to the Americana music genre as the band Hometown Marie is currently ripping up the Country charts over in their country of Sweden.


Sweden’s Hometown Marie takes the Americana genre and makes it their own. In fact, if you were not aware of just where the band comes from, you would swear they were just your average American Country band. The Swedish band consists of: Oskar Östman, Singer, songwriter, guitarist; Gabriel Carlsson, Bass, vocals; Simon Peterson, Drummer; and Accel  Ramberg, Lead guitarist. Together, the quartet has released one four-song EP in 2016 entitled Wild Side and two new singles that were added to the band’s musical output in 2018. 


Hometown Marie’s Wild Side EP begins with the track “Like We Used To”. Right from the very beginning, the track screams Top 40 Country radio as the track features a strong current Country music feeling. In fact, the song feels as if it was recorded down in Nashville with some of the best professionals in that town. “Like We Used To” features strong mandolin playing and plenty of Country twang. The mid-tempo pace of the track gives it an easy feeling as the song plays out. That tempo works well for the song as the lyrics describe a couple in the middle of a dance that takes them back in time to when they met each other. Being the first track off of the Wild Side EP, “Like We Used To” lets the listener know that the band is serious about creating music in the Country vein. 


The band picks things up a bit with the track “Yours Tonight”. With“Yours Tonight,” the band ventures into a sound where the band combines elements of Folk music with Country. The result is a slightly lighter feel to the music. But that lighter feel comes with a quicker tempo to the music and a slightly heavier groove than what was present on “Like We Used To”. The inclusion of the mandolin at the very beginning of the track helps to set the song in motion. It is that mandolin that truly brings the Folk influence in the song to the forefront. The quicker pace and stronger groove to the song creates a moment on the EP that would fit right in with anything on today’s Country music radio formats.


Just as fast as Hometown Marie changed the pace of the music with a faster tempo on “Yours Tonight,” the band tones things down again on the next track of“Run to You”. The tempo for that song is much slower but the track also comes with a very steady, yet strong beat provided by drummer Simon Peterson. The slow pace and steady beat of the song carry the track throughout its four-minute playtime with no changing of the pace or delivery of that beat. Along with the slow, steady beat from Simon Peterson that is present on the track,the rest of Hometown Marie adds to the track with instrumental deliveries that are rather sparse in nature. The limited amount of playing from the band members on the song help to create a track that rather simple in nature yet somehow also seems full-bodied at the same time.


The Wild Side EP from Hometown Marie comes to an end with the album’s title track. “Wild Side” is easily the hardest rockin’ track of the four songs that make up the 2016 release. The harder guitars and stronger beat on the track blend together to create a track that is perfect for fans of today’s Country music. And the mention of a “Hollywood Smile”in the lyrics adds even more of an “American” feel to the music, which just helps to put the band further into the Americana music genre. For those fans of today’s Country music, “Wild Side” is one track that will fill your need for Contemporary Country music.


While the four tracks that make up the Wild Side EP from Hometown Marie are solid, there is more to the band than just that EP. The band has just recently added two more tracks to their musical library. Those new tracks are “Stay The Night” and “Take Me Back”.


Right from the beginning of the track, “Stay the Night” from Hometown Marie hits the listener with a sound that places the Rock and Roll influence of the band atop the band’s Country influence. While both genres are solidly present in the song, the track contains more of a Rock and Roll influence than Country twang. The track also seems to also contain other influences to the music as well. For instance, the entire track is rather reminiscent of a song from the Scottish rock band Big Country from 1988 called “King of Emotion”. Whether there is a connection between that song and Hometown Marie remains to be seen. However, the resulting track by Hometown Marie would have fit on American radio airwaves back in the eighties just as easily as it would on today’s radio.


The second track that the band just recently released is called “Take Me Back”. The introduction to the track finds the band slowly leading into the track as the track builds. As the song builds, what is revealed is a song that contains a strong influence from eighties-era Rock and Roll with just a little Country twang. The lyrical content about a man asking for forgiveness has a universal appeal to it and the musical approach of the track combine to create a track that fans of Rock and Roll of the eighties and fans of today’s Country music will both enjoy.


Swedish band Hometown Marie may not have an album of music available, but the Wild Side EP and the band’s two newest singles of “Take Me Back” and “Stay the Night” provide the listener with six tracks of strong music with plenty of crossover appeal for those who enjoy Rock and Roll from the eighties and/or fans of Country music. Whichever side of the aisle you find yourself on, Hometown Marie creates music that appeals to a lot of people. 



To hear the music of Hometown Marie, check out the music video to the band’s newest single, “Stay the Night“.

You can find Hometown Marie and their music over on the band’s Spotify account.

  

Folk duo of Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud are two singer/songwriters that create a folk music sound in the songs they create.Those songs are rather simplistic in nature as they draw upon only the guitars and vocals from Quiles and Cloud. That simplistic writing approach is more than apparent on the duo’s 2012 release entitled Long Time Coming.

Having already released Long Time Coming, Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud (now known simply as Quiles and Cloud) went about adding other musical components to their music to expand their sound. To bring their current musical vision to life, the duo called upon upright bassist Oscar Westesson, vocalist/pianist Julian Muller and Irene Sazer on violin. While the duo’s current sound is richer and fuller, it still has a simplistic approach and still makes use of their folk background. That expanded sound is found on the recently released 2014 Quiles and Cloud album called Seminole Star.

To help bring Seminole Star to life, the participating musicians gathered in the OTR Studios. That “live” feeling is definitely present as you listen to the release.

Seminole Star from Quiles and Cloud begins with the track “All My Trouble Gone”. No place on the album is it more apparent that this release is a “live in the studio” release than on this track as the beginning of the track starts with a beat being established only to be quickly replaced by a faster beat once Maria Quiles begins to sing the lyrics to the song. While that beginning seems a tad awkward, the track soon becomes one of the strongest tracks on the release as the guitars; bass and violin all combine to create a track that is unmistakably folk-like. One of the fun elements of the track is violinist Irene Sazer’s use of her violin to create bird sounds to go along with the lyrics of being able to fly. While the track has a relatively slow tempo that tempo increases about halfway in and the resulting faster pace of the song gives the track a nice amount of energy and it is that fast pace that brings the song to its end.

The quick pace established during “All My Trouble Gone” helps to lead into the next track of “Fool to Run”. Like the song before, “Fool to Run” has a strong pace to it. Like the song before it, “Fool to Run” has a strong pace to it. The track features both Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud on vocals. While Maria handles the majority of the lyrics, Rory joins her on the refrains and the two create a duet-like feel to the lyrics. While “All My Troubles Gone” contained music from Maria, Rory, bassist Oscar Westesson and violin Irene Sazer, it was in an ensemble setting. With “Fool to Run,” the musicians get a little opportunity to show off as both Westesson and Sazer help to create some very strong moments on the track.

If any one song on Seminole Star could be released as a single, it would easily be “Pass”. The song features music that feels as much like the Blues as it does like Folk. The lyrics to the song incorporate such as “baby, it’s cold outside” and “stop and stay a while”. The vocals delivered by Maria Quiles bring to mind artists such as Shawn Colvin and Paula Cole. The track feels very commercial and ready-made for the radio.

On Seminole Star’s title track, Quiles and Cloud revert backto a simple folk approach to their music. The music on the track is createdmainly by the guitars from the two. In fact, while the song does containbassist Oscar Westesson and violinist Irene Sazer, the two are part of the songto more or less just add a little texture to the track. As you listen to MariaQuiles sing the lyrics, the melody in the part of the main body of the song hasa hauntingly-familiar sound to it (Neil Young’s “Ohio,” anyone?).

One of the prettiest moments on the Seminole Star release belongs to the song “Empty Handed”. The trio of Maria Quiles, Rory Cloud and bassist Oscar Westesson create a track with an easy feel to the music. One of the elements that give the track such a beautiful sound is Westesson’s bowing technique on the standup bass. That bowing technique adds both beauty and depth to the feeling of the song.

With Quiles and Cloud having released Seminole Star only mere days before the end of 2014, the album helped the year come to an end on a very strong note. But since many fans of the duo will actually discover the release in 2015, it can also be said that it will help start the year off with a bang.

Check out the full-band version of “Pass,” a track off of Seminole Star from Quiles and Cloud.

Also check out the duo’s YouTubeChannel for downloads of all of the tracks on the release.


(Post script: What you are reading is a re-post of a review that had originally been published back in 2015. Because of a few problems (which started with a simple trying to redo the album cover which had somehow disappeared from the review), the review needed to be redone. 
Since the original publication of this review, the project of Quiles & Cloud disbanded. But they left behind three good albums that are still worth checking out.) 



Matt KjeldsenAustin-based singer-songwriter Matt Kjeldsen spent the year 2015 releasing two albums of original music. Released together at the same time, the albums Consequence and Renaissance plus Clouds and Cages contained a total of twenty-two tracks. But in reality, those twenty-two tracks were just a small sample of the songs that Kjeldsen had written at that time.

The reason why twenty-two songs is only a small amount for Kjeldsen is because he makes his living as a composer who works on supplying instrumental music for music libraries where those songs can and may well eventually be used for something or other. The resulting concept ended up being numerous song ideas that eventually lead him to create full-blown songs. And many of those ideas ended up being extended into songs that became the two albums entitled Consequence and Renaissance plus Clouds and Cages.

Now, three years later, Matt Kjeldsen returns with another release. This time, the singer-songwriter has produced a five-song EP called Last Days.

Matt Kjeldsen’s Last Days EP begins with the track called “Closer to Texas”. To start his new release off, Kjeldsen creates a track with a definite Americana feel to it. While the track features a strong Folk feel to the music in the form of a guitar and mandolin, there is also a Country background to the music if the form of the addition of the banjo that gives the track a feel that falls somewhere between the two styles. Because of the dual feel, “Closer to Texas” would fall firmly into the Americana genre. To go along with the feel of the music, the lyrical content finds Kjeldsen singing about finding his way back to the woman he once fell in love with.

With the song “I Should Know Me Better than That by Now,” Matt Kjeldsen creates a track that falls into the Folk-Rock category. The first thing the listener will notice is the lighter feel of the music. The more laidback feel to the music results in a track that feels as if it would have felt right at home back in the seventies. The acoustic guitar drives the feel of the music which contains a similarly easy feel that the previous track had. The difference between the two songs is that “I Should Know Me Better than That by Now” would have fit right in the middle of an MOR (Middle of the Road) radio format back in the seventies. While the track does have a laidback approach, the song feels as if it would have easily been a successful track at the time.

Last Days from Matt Kjeldsen continues with the title track of the EP. With this track, Kjeldsen creates another laidback tune with a Folk flavor to it. The title track of “Last Days” brings back some of the Americana feel that came from “Closer to Texas” as there is more to the feel of the music than just Folk influence. While the majority of the music falls into Folk, the addition of strings also gives the song a bit of Classical music influence. While the previous two tracks contain the aforementioned laidback feeling, the addition of the strings makes “Last Days” the most laidback of the tracks thus far. The track comes complete with a storytelling feel to the lyrics as Kjeldsen tells of a civilization that fell apart because of bad choices. It’s actually hard not to see some parallels between that time in history and what is currently going on. That may very well be what Kjeldsen is trying to get across with this track.

The first three tracks on Matt Kjeldsen’s newest release contain a certain amount of feeling that connects the tracks together in a similar fashion. But with the fourth song on the EP called “What Once Was,” Kjeldsen changes things up. Gone is the Folk feeling. What replaces it in this track is a much stronger Rock and Roll approach. And in particular, the feel of the music and the delivery of the lyrics on the track bring to mind the music of Tom Petty. As opposed to some tracks from Petty, the track of “What Once Was” has a very current feel to it, as if Petty himself would have recorded it not that long ago.

The latest EP from Matt Kjeldsen called Last Days comes to a close with the track “Ghosts and Shadows”. With this final track, Kjeldsen creates the strongest, hardest-rocking track of the five songs that appear on the EP. Gone away is the feeling of Folk…anything. Instead, what Kjeldsen creates is a Rock and Roll track that contains a strong, driving feel to the music. The track contains a feeling that feels like a combination of late sixties Psychedelic Rock and Rock and Roll from the late eighties. The track also contains lyrics that seem to suggest a time not unlike the days of Halloween. The track’s lyrical content also suggests something of a darker nature, like a haunting or something like that. With that combination, “Ghosts and Shadows” stands out as perhaps the most unusual of the five tracks that make up the Last Days release.

While only five songs long, Last Days from Matt Kjeldsen seems to present two different sides to the singer-songwriter. The first three tracks show off the more Folky side of his personality while the final two tracks help to bring out his more rocking’ side. That division creates an EP with a split feeling in its music. That isn’t a bad thing, however. It just means that there different influences that feed Kjeldsen’s writing. As it is, the five-song EP is a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with the music from Matt Kjeldsen.

For more on Matt Kjeldsen and his music, check out his website called Matt’s Music Box.

For a taste of Kjeldsen’s music, check out the title track off of the Last Days release. 

To hear the Last Days EP, click on the album cover below:
Kjeldsen

ProvidenceSinger-songwriter Gordon Thomas Ward splits his time between creating music that would fit into several different genres and writing books that cover just as many topics as his music seems to cover genres. That stretching of his talents means that Ward continues to add to his many different influences. And those influences, in turn, influence each other. As far as his music is concerned, Ward has already released one album with the title of Welcome to the Past. Soon, however, he will be adding to that album with another release. The newest release from Gordon Thomas Ward is titled Providence.

The Providence EP from Gordon Thomas Ward is a short, five-song release that begins with the track “Acadia Lament- Names Into Stone”. This beginning track makes it rather obvious that Ward has influences that stretch the gamut as the song begins with a Classical music influence that feels very medieval in nature. The lutes and guitars in that section of the track create a moment of about two minutes consisting of relaxing music before the song segues into something a lot more intense. The second part of the track turns up the heat as the Folk-Rock created features a strong electric guitar and a strong driving feel to the music. Near the end of the track, the music seems to combine the Classical flavor from the beginning with the later musical approach with the strong Folk-Rock feel.

Gordon Thomas Ward changes the direction of the music with the next track. While the previous track takes two different paths in its music with widely different sounds, the song of “Destiny” takes on yet another approach. With this song, the music seems to be rather influenced by the music of the band The Eagles as the track’s Folk-Rock music appears to have a touch of Country flavor to it, much like much of the aforementioned supergroup from the seventies. The lyrical content to “Destiny” finds the singer pondering life as he travels down the road. For those who enjoy some of the music from the seventies, this song will take you back to those days while still containing a fresh feel to the music.

Providence from Gordon Thomas Ward takes on a more emotional feel with the next track of “Just One More”. Like the track before it, “Just One More” finds Gordon Thomas Ward creating a track with Folk flavor to it. But with this track, the emphasis is squarely on the Folk genre as the track contains more Folk feeling than the rest of the tracks on this EP. To go along with the Folk sound that exists inside of the track, Ward writes lyrics that have a lot more of an emotional tug than the rest of the release. The lyrics to the track deal wanting only one more time with those you love, especially those who are now gone, the ones you will never have the chance to spend that time with again. “Just One More” will grab you by the heart and never let go throughout the four-an-a-half minutes of playtime.

As “Just One More” features the most Folk flavor of any of the tracks on the Providence release, the track “The Horseman” finds Gordon Thomas Ward creating a song with the most Country influence to it. It turns out that the Country/Folk combination on the track is a good base to go along with the lyrics to the track. The lyrics, it seems, revolve around the tale of The Headless Horseman. The use of the Country/Folk musical blend goes well with the setting of the story which takes place back in the late 1700’s. With “The Horseman” being a story set to music, the track puts both sides of Ward’s personality to good use, blending the storyteller and musician together on the track.

With the song “One Kiss,” Gordon Thomas Ward seems to be channeling the spirit of John Denver as his vocals, lyrical content and all-around sound to the music of the track bring to mind the style of the now-deceased Denver.  The final track of the EP brings back a lot of the emotions and mindset that had been found on the song “Just One More” as the lyrics deal with looking back at moments that have past too quickly, whether it’s a child growing up, or the loss of one’s mother. The emotional feeling of the track brings the 5-song release to a close in a way that will stay with you long after the last note ends.

Providence from Gordon Thomas Ward may be a short, five-song release, but the tracks that make it up give the listener several different musical approaches throughout those tracks. Because of that, the short but powerful EP gives the listener a good representation of what the music of Gordon Thomas Ward is like.

To check out the music of Gordon Thomas Ward, check out the track “One Kiss“. 

For more information, check out Gordon Thomas Ward’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company. 

Whiplash

The_Sweet_Potatoes_1If you are a fan of the American version of the improv show called Whose Line Is It Anyway, you most definitely know the program’s musical director, Laura Hall. What you may not know is that there is a lot more to her than just the ability to improvise behind those who constantly come up with the humor on the show. Coming as something that should be no surprise to anyone, Laura Hall makes use of her musical training in more than just the role of a musical director on an Improv show. On days when she is not found backing up people who make a living making things up off the top of their heads, Hall puts her musical background to use with the band called The Sweet Potatoes.

The Sweet Potatoes is a trio of musicians who blend together some classic musical styles in order to create their sound. Laura Hall makes up only one part of The Sweet Potatoes as she performs on piano, accordion, ukulele as well as mandolin and vocals. Hall’s husband Rick Hall, who has made a name for himself as music composer for the likes of shows such as NCIS and KC Undercover, joins the two ladies in the group as he performs on vocals, bass and harmonica. Kelly Macleod (the woman who formed The Sweet Potatoes with Laura Hall as a duo before Hall’s husband joined them) completes the outfit as she performs on vocals and guitar as well as being a writer with Laura Hall on the band’s songs. Together, the trio combines their various musical talents to create a musical ensemble that creates music that focuses on the style of Folk music.

As a duo, Laura Hall and Kelly Macleod had already released one self-titled album of music in 2010 before Rick Hall joined the ladies. As a trio, The Sweet Potatoes created one album of music, 2014’s Faith, Good Neighbors and a Telephone. Now, the trio formation of The Sweet Potatoes has released a second album, (third all-around for the band) 2017’s Headin’ Home.

Headin’ Home from The Sweet Potatoes begins with the track “Those Pines”. The track begins with two-part harmony coming from Laura Hall and Kelly Macleod to create a Bluegrass-style vocal before Macleod takes the lead on vocals as the group begins a track that is truly a Bluegrass fan’s dream. The track features a story-like feel to the lyrics. Macleod sings of remembering the pine trees where she grew up. As she sings of the place she called home, she describes the time when she came home to attend her mother’s funeral and then taking a walk within the trees so that she could find peace of mind. “Those Pines” is easily one track that will fulfill any Bluegrass fan’s dream of finding real bluegrass music.

With the next track of “By the Light of Day,” the song finds the trio creating a track that falls musically closer to Country music than it does Bluegrass. In fact, the track’s musical blend is about half and half Country and Folk. As Kelly Macleod took the lead on vocals with the previous track, it is Laura Hall’s turn to sing lead. While many of us already knew Hall was a talented musician, “By the Light of Day” proves that she can also sing rather well. Just like with the song before it, this track once again features strong harmonizing from the three band members.

On the third track entitled “Second Hand News,” The Sweet Potatoes create a track that revolves around two people spending quality time together. With this track, Kelly Macleod once again takes the lead on the vocal. Macleod sings about slowing things down while relaxing out in the grass and allowing things to happen as they will as she proves she is better than the woman who has taken her place in the now-defunct relationship. The lyrics to the song contain enough of a hint at what is being sought after without going overboard. “Second Hand News” contains a gentle feel with a moderate pace to the music.

The next song on the release is “Home”. And with this song, the trio brings a little more wholesomeness back to their music. The track “Home” finds Macleod once again singing lead on a track about looking back at the way life used to be. To go along with a gentle pace to the music, “Home” features a lyrical content that is sure to evoke memories of times gone by as Macleod sings about the good times that made her childhood so memorable. “Home” is one of the shining moments on the newest release of Headin’ Home from The Sweet Potatoes.

Many Folk albums venture from time-to-time into a more Gospel-oriented musical direction. Headin’ Home from The Sweet Potatoes is no exception. On the track “Down to the River,” Kelly Macleod sings lyrics about heading down to the water that will cleanse her soul. The music on the track picks up a little more Bluegrass feel than the previous tracks contained. The track contains enough of a religious overtone without getting too preachy. For those who enjoy Bluegrass music, especially old-time Bluegrass with that Gospel connection, “Down to the River” is a great modern-day addition to the genre.

On the next track on the album, The Sweet Potatoes create one of the most commercial songs on the entire album. The song “Without You” once again features Kelly Macleod on lead vocals as she sings about her romantic desires. Macleod’s vocals about not wanting to spend her life with that someone special join music that is closer to Old-fashioned Country music than Bluegrass. In fact, the feel of the music as well as the contents of the lyrics make the track perfect for inclusion on Country radio formats that deal with more of the Classic sound and style. While this track may being rather unusual when comparing it to today’s contemporary Country music, the formats that focus on the style that would include Dolly Parton, George Jones, Patsy Cline and Marty Robbins would welcome “Without You” from The Sweet Potatoes with open arms.

Just as “Without You” comes to an end, the trio of The Sweet Potatoes creates yet another track that features an Old-fashioned Country feel to the music. “Only Thing We Got” features Laura Hall once again on lead vocals as she sings about the one thing that binds us all together- love. While there is still a strong retro feel to the music on the track, “Only Thing We Got” seems like it would fit more with today’s style of Country than most of the tracks on the album. The track exists somewhere between “timeless” and modern.

As you make your way through the dozen tracks that make up the Headin’ Home album from The Sweet Potatoes, you encounter different musical elements that blend together easily to create an album that feels as if it should have been released several decades ago. And while there is the retro or throwback element to the band’s music, The Sweet Potatoes will appeal to fans of the older style of Country/Bluegrass music. For those who are already fans of that style, be sure to add this album to your collection. And to those who are just beginning to explore the older styles of music, Headin’ Home album from The Sweet Potatoes,  is a good place to start.

For more information, check out the Tiny Desk Contest of “Home” from The Sweet Potatoes.

Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Headin’ Home from The Sweet Potatoes. 

Sweet Potatoes Headin Home