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FAME Review: Stonehoney - The Cedar Creek Sessions
 
Stonehoney - The Cedar Creek Sessions

The Cedar Creek Sessions

Stonehoney

Music Road Records - MRRCD007

Available July 6, 2010, from Music Road Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

There's a surprising element of early Michael Stanley, Dan Fogelberg, and the mellower side of the Hooters in this buncha musos who dropped into the studio and just went for it, overdubbing nada: no pitch adjustments, no gimcrackery, nothing but straight ahead country rock performed right then and there, 40 songs worth for three days, 14 of which appear here, every last one of them written by the player-singers.

It goes without saying, then, that the entire affair is fresh, clean, unassuming, and played from the heart, harmony vocals capping everything in wistful sonorities. As all the gents in the base quartet are guitarists, six friends pitched in for accompaniment, and the result is what we'd hoped Snail, Cowboy, Calico, and other past efforts would've turned out like, each composition foot-tappingly captivating (and Phil Hurley manages to toss in some mighty tasty leads).

Likewise, the lyrics can be clever (Good as Gone, etc.) while dusty, working class, gently rednecky, and all-American. Feels Like Home, my favorite track, is fierce and plaintive, a song of heartbreak made all the more jagged with Hurley's marvelously twisted middle eight. At various junctures, Louis Jay Myers tosses in a lilting pedal steel, and when the gents settle down into a ballad, as in Still Gonna Sing Your Song, a trademark keen periphery maintains itself, keeping any element of radio saccharinity well at bay. All in all, if this is what eventuates from studio spontaneity, I say toss the pencils and stave sheets out the window and keep seat-of-the-pantsing it.

Track List:

  • Two Years Down (Davis / Hurley)
  • Headlight on a Midnight Train (Phenicie / Woodruff)
  • Lucky One (Shawn Davis)
  • I Don't Wanna Go Home (Randolph / Woodruff)
  • White Knuckle Wind (David Phenicie)
  • Good as Gone (Shawn Davis)
  • Feels Like Home (Davis / Hurley)
  • Still Gonna Sing Your Song (David Phenicie)
  • Dance with You Apart (Davis / Hurley / Miller)
  • Fallin' Apart (Shawn Davis)
  • Little Angel (Nick Randolph)
  • There is Light (Davis / Hurley)
  • Texas Sun (Shawn Davis)
  • Feel Like I'm Gonna Die (David Phenicie)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

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Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 
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