If you like the fiddle, in almost all it’s various forms, and want to wade into something with country, old time, zydeco, cajun, and maybe even some bluegrass touches, you couldn’t do better than to start with this CD.
After being a founding member of the Heartbeats and a long and continuing stint with Donna the Buffalo, Tara Nevins released her first CD 13 years ago, which was strong on old time and bluegrass (this would be another great addition to your music collection). On this one she ranges a bit farther afield, but her roots are so strong you never feel the music is wandering, the tunes interweave and masterfully fit together.
Yes, there’s the Hearbeats sound here who make a guest appearance and the DTB sound with Jim Lauderdale. These are songs that would fit right in on country radio and not be out of place on a rock station. While a number of songs are of heartbreak and broken relationships, Tara manages a bluegrass trick–if you miss the lyrics you might just think they’re happy tunes.
“The Beauty Of The Days Gone By”
10 of the 13 songs on the album are originals. Tara opens with “Wood And Stone” which channels memories of everyone’s childhood. “All I Ever Needed” comes out as a Cajun-Country toe-tapper. “You’re Still Driving That Truck” opens with a rock-and-roll guitar riff and then settles into a gritty country take on what guys are looking for. “Snowbird” is as close to a ballad as Tara gets on this album–you can feel her soul soaring! “Nothing Really” is a fiddle driven instrumental hoe-down. “What Money Cannot Buy” and “The Wrong Side” are two different versions on “I’ve been wronged” songs, the latter being one of the most upbeat sounding takes on breaking up that I’ve ever heard. “Stars Fell On Alabama” is Tara’s version of an old standard, while “Tennessee River” sounds like she’s written a new standard. The album ends on a cover of Van Morrison’s “Beauty Of Days Gone By” with feelings that bookend wonderfully with “Wood And Stone” at the start.
Tara’s voice and fiddle are in fine form throughout, and her band does an outstanding job of backing her up, I’m more than happy to add this to my music collection!
Being familiar with Tara’s background I expected nothing other than an excellent album, but sometimes surprises await. She scored Larry Campbell as producer, hot off two Grammy award-winning albums (Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt) for Levon Helm and renowned for his work with Bob Dylan. The album was also recorded in Levon’s studio. Levon guests on two tracks. Larry has taken Tara’s music to an entirely higher level, if this doesn’t turn into an award winner they’ll have been cheated!
Sugar Hill Records