Reviews

The Whiskey Charmers Take Us To The Valley


By Brian Rock

The Whiskey Charmers serve up another round of their signature “Country Noir” on their second studio release, The Valley. Picking up where they left off, the Charmers create a moody, atmospheric soundscape that plays like the soundtrack to a film noir/spaghetti western mashup. Simultaneously foreboding and alluring, The Whiskey Charmers music is as tempting as forbidden fruit.

In “Desert,” lead singer Carrie Shepard sings, “He said come meet me in the desert.” And later reveals that, “I lost my heart in the desert. I lost my soul in the wind. I lost my mind in the sands…” And even though tragedy awaits, the singer is compelled to go, just as Shepard’s sultry, siren voice compels the listener to abandon everything else and succumb to her.

Like Margot Timmons of the Cowboy Junkies, Carrie Shepard’s voice stirs your heart as well as your ears. Like a Hollywood femme fatale, she calls and you follow; consequences be damned.

Shepard’s bandmates complete the Hollywood magic by creating an irresistible combination of Country, Jazz and Rockabilly that swelter and simmer in the minor keys.

“Dirty Little Blues” is a perfect example of the symbiotic effect of voice and instrumentation. As Shepard seductively sings, “There’s not one thing that I can refuse when I get these dirty little blues,” the band plays throbbing tribal drums accompanied by jazz-rock guitar licks. The effect is hypnotically sexy.

“Melody,” “Meet Me There,” “Full Moon,” and “Fireproof” are equally enticing as Shepard and the Charmers warn/promise that, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

Even the heartbreaks and dysfunctional relationships are irresistible in songs like, “The Valley,” “Songbird,” and “Warnings,” where she sings, “There’s a warning wherever I go and it’s storming snow and sleet, yeah it’s storming whenever we meet.” Coming from Shepard’s lips, no warning has ever sounded more inviting.

In a world full of temptations, here’s one you can feel good about giving in to. Let the Whiskey Charmers charm you all the way from the Mountains to The Valley.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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