CD Review: Carolyn Sills Combo – On the Draw
By Ritchie Ritchison for Country Music News International Magazine
- Little Death
- Done Wonders
- Sam McGee
- Good Gracious Alive
- West of West and East of Tokyo (For James Hand)
- Dixon Ticonderoga
- Alan Brown
- Muddy Water (Featuring Sunshine Jackson)
- I Meant to Tell You
The new CD from the Carolyn Sills Combo is called On the Draw and it is quick to hit the mark.
Right out of the chute you can tell that this is a finely tuned musical unit. All of the songs are played with passion and skill and a love and respect for the various musical styles that are featured in this package.
Making an album of so many songs in different styles sound like a cohesive collection can be a daunting task for any artist but the CSB makes it sound easy.
From the opening notes of Little Death to the last fading harmonics on Bourboning this is a solid album that is as satisfying as a good book.
Lead singer and chief songwriter Carolyn Sills says “I love writing story driven snapshots where every word counts” and in this collection she means it. Not a word is wasted and and the songs are tight and fresh.
Whether it is honky tonk or Americana or a dash of rock and roll or a splash of jazz thrown in for good measure there is something for everyone on this 12 song disc.
There is even a great rendition of the Roger Miller penned Oo-De-Lally from the Walt Disney Studios animated classic Robin Hood. I first heard their version of this from their youtube video and I’m glad to see that they recorded it for this album as well. It works great as a standalone country song but is also a nice trip down memory lane for anyone who enjoyed the movie.
The award winning band from Santa Cruz, CA continues to blaze a trail for American roots music while always giving a nod to its history and On the Draw is no exception. Building on the success of Return to El Paso The CSB has produced a record that should be in every Roots Music lover’s library.
It is no wonder they are inducted into the Sacramento Western Swing Hall of Fame even though their music spans many other genres as well.
But one would be remiss if they did not include the rest of the Combo. While Carolyn Sills is the chief songwriter, bass player and singer the music wouldn’t live without the great contributions from Gerard Egan (Guitar and Vocals), Sunshine Jackson (Percussion and Vocals), Jimmy Norris (Drums) and Charlie Joe Wallace (Steel Guitar).
On the Draw is on the mark and should be in your collection on October 13th when it is released. And if you get a chance go see the Carolyn Sills Combo and hear them bring this great music to life.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars