SOME VELVET EVENING No Law Against Talking
Shooting The Breeze – Ain’t No Law Against Talking – Still Have Your Hat – Behind The Line – Chore List – One Night of Sin – Southern Moon – Springtime – Sabotage – Come On Down – Come On, Let’s Go
Being the President of the National Traditional Country Music Assn., for some 35 years now, has certainly exposed me to some ‘not so good’ country music, and being a fan of some of America’s finest duets to emerge in country music, you know like Carl & Pearl Butler, Molly O’Day and her husband Lynn Davis, James & Martha Carson, Curly Fox & Texas Ruby, even Porter and Dolly, but my favorite of all was Lulu Belle & Scotty, and that’s who immediately comes to mind when hearing ‘Some Velvet Evening.’ Made up of Carrie Shepard and John Holkeboer, this incredibly interesting couple make their home in Commerce, Michigan, and extol the very virtues and talent that Lulu Belle & Scotty did. It takes a ‘special’ person to not only ‘write’ good songs, but to arrange them and sing them, and that is exactly what Carrie Sheperd’s role is in this really neat traditional country project. These are young people mind you, and they probably call their music ‘Americana’ but I choose to define it as simply great old-time traditional country. The ‘harmony’ between this couple is apparent, not only in their voices, but in the personal touch they add to this really nice CD. Carrie is writing good country songs that Nashville has pretty much turned away from, but in her hands, her voice, and the addition of John on the instrument side, we have a perfect match. John plays bass, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and percussion. The delightful couple also utilized the talents of fellow musicians Todd Glass on drums; John Lang on pedal steel guitar (quite well done); and Paul McLinden on lead guitar. It’s John’s acoustic instruments that sets the ‘stage’ however for this very easy to listen to CD. It harkens to another time, when the music was supposed to be ‘human’ and ‘relatable,’ so very unlike what we hear today that has to march to the drummer that dictates content, style, sound-alike, radio compatibility. Wow, is it nice to hear the ‘real deal’ after listening to the radio these days. John played an important role all the way through from engineering to production. Good job all the way around. I like the ‘mix’ very much, especially how they used ‘stereo’ to bring out the best in the pickers. I liked “Springtime” it’s soft and pretty, and the mandolin part is just right for this kind of song. Sounds like there’s a little bit of harmonica peeking through on “Come On Down” but we don’t know who’s playing it. CD cover photos are good, the back side shows Carrie with a nice smile, shows her nice personality, but on the front cover she’s a little more ‘serious.’ She doesn’t have to be, she’s just right. All in all this is a super good 2012 CD on the market. I will be passing this along to the Rural Roots Music Commission. I never know what ‘category’ they put music, but they usually know what they are doing. Congratulations Carrie and John, nice job well done.
Carrie Shephed, 27201 Chanki Dr., Commerce, Mi 48390