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Christy McWilson
Bed of Roses
Hightone CD HCD8143, 2002 (43:33)

Pickett goes solo

Linda Dailey Paulson, 15 August 2002

Christy McWilson (ex-Picketts) has a lovely clear voice which is allowed to shine on Bed of Roses. Produced by Dave Alvin, a stellar group of musicians including Alvin, Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Greg Leisz has been assembled to accompany McWilson. It's a surprisingly pleasant album.

The most powerful track is the McWilson-Alvin duet "805." Their voices contrast strongly but combine sweetly. The track also features nice sitar - yes, sitar - from Buck and some interesting fingerpicked guitars. McWilson's voice has a delicate quality put to excellent use on ballads. She can also belt it, as evidenced on the country rocker "Shooting Fish in a Barrel" and the '60s inspired "Tightrope."

Enough space has been given to the musicians to create intriguing sonic textures, such as on "Lila Jean." This particular track includes surprising touches from accordion, electrified dulcimer and jaw harp. Another stand out is an insistent, ethereal cover of Jesse Colin Young's "Darkness, Darkness." The liner notes are excessively minimal. Since most all the songs are originals, lyrics would be nice, especially for "The Serpentine River," a captivating storytelling tune. This doesn't matter so much when you've got the road before you and accelerator wide open on the 101. Good driving companion.

performers  Christy McWilson, vocals; Peter Buck, guitar, sitar, electric dulcimer; Greg Leisz, guitars; Chris Gaffney, accordion; Scott McCaughey, guitar, bass, piano, vocals; Eric Danheim, guitars; Rick Shea, guitar, tambourine; Tony Marsico, bass; David P. Jackson, bass; Don Heffington, percussion, drums, jaw harp

production  Produced by Dave Alvin, engineered by Mark Linett and Floyd Reitsman

songs  Life's Little Enormities  · Lila Jean  · The Serpentine River  · True Believer  · 8:05 · Shooting Fish in a Barrel · Darkness, Darkness · Sheep Song  · Bed of Roses  · Not a Day Goes By  · Can't Stop a Train  · Tightrope

Copyright © 2002 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.