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Saturday, July 09, 2016

Colvin & Earle

I've been a fan of Shawn Colvin even before she made her first record, and while I don't have any Steve Earle records, I'm somewhat familiar with him, especially his fiery political music. Therefore I was really stoke for their first pairing, self-titled Colvin & Earle. Unfortunately, though it's a nice listen, it seems inconsequential. It sounds like what it might well have been--a couple of buddies just playin' music.

Colvin and Earle wrote half of the album; the other half is covers. The new stuff doesn't break any boundaries, either musically or lyrically. The opening track, "Come What May," has a toe-tapping rhythm, but I honestly can't remember any of the tunes after a week of listening to it. The lyrics are gentle bromides about love and being happy with what you have ("Happy and Free").

The covers are an interesting assortment. Most are hits from the '60s, such as "Tobacco Road," which gets a nice funky rendition, and the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday," which is basically the same arrangement the Stones did, without the recorder, which confuses my memory. There is also a cover of the nugget "You Were on My Mind," by We Five, which again doesn't alter the original much.

Colvin has an angelic voice, Earle not so much, and often his voice is buried in the mix, but not enough to detract from hers. The voices just don't mesh at all.

I really wanted to like this record but I doubt I'll be playing much again.

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