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Blue Mother Tupelo – Only Sunshine

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Ricky and Micol Davis ~ Blue Mother Tupelo

Blue Mother Tupelo is the dynamic husband and wife musical team of Ricky and Micol Davis. While based out of Nashville, they’ve been making music together for two decades… that’s twenty years… and I had never heard of them! That all changed when I received their latest release – Only Sunshine – in the mail about a month ago. You might ask, “Why don’t you know about them, and what the hell took you so long to tell us about them?” It’s embarrassing to admit, but I can’t lie to you… It’s because I live in the wrong damn part of the country, but thanks to some great friends in Nashville, I get to hear and share great music like this with other like-minded, music-loving people here in Las Vegas. Oh, they’re out here, but they weren’t easy to find… believe me.

I’d have gotten to this review sooner, but Only Sunshine has been stuck in my car’s deck for weeks. I swear, I only popped it in there for a quick five minute trip to get a cup of coffee and a bagel, but this album is hotter and more addictive than the Cup-o-Joe I had in my hand by the time the first track, “Country Fun” finished playing. It’s one of the best opening cuts I’ve heard in a long time. In four minutes, it seems to showcase all this duo have to offer – from Rick’s lustrously gritty guitar work to Micol’s effortlessly fun-filled harmonies. It does what an opening track should do – it hooks you and takes you away. Ahhh… but that was just a taste of their talent.

After “Country Fun” faded out, Ricky counted off the second track, “Meet Me Down River”, the throbbing back beat built up behind him, and his vocals were enveloped by a mocking, ghost-like slide guitar that soon swelled into a feverish solo. That song lit me up. I didn’t stop driving until I heard the entire album… all ten tracks… twice. When I say an album is great driving music, I mean that as a sincere complement. The pacing and energy in each track has to hold you tight, take control, and make you just keep driving on. That’s what happened to me… (And that’s saying a lot considering Las Vegas has some of the most obnoxious drivers in the country. You just don’t want to be around them for that long).

Only Sunshine follows Blue Mother Tupelo’s critically acclaimed 2009 set Heaven And Earth, an album that shook up the hard-to-impress Americana community by debuting right behind Kris Kristofferson at No. 2 on the Euro Americana Chart, and hitting the Top 40 on Americana radio in the States.

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Click to buy “Only Sunshine” on Amazon

Only Sunshine was engineered/recorded by Ricky Davis at the couple’s home studio, JukeTonk Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The album was produced by Ricky and co-produced by Micol. Ricky played most of the instruments on the album except for the horns, fiddle, violins, piano, and keyboards. Micol played the piano, keyboards and hand percussion. Both Ricky and Micol handle all the vocal parts. With the new release, Blue Mother Tupelo remains dedicated to its blend of Southern roots, country soul, and a touch of retro rock. The result is, in the couple’s own words, “Pretty personal…a celebration of life, natural and honest.”

As they explain: “Our focus throughout our musical lives has been to stay true to our souls, first and foremost. Only Sunshine reflects this. We are always trying to create new organic sounds when we are recording in the studio. The main difference between Only Sunshine and our earlier albums is that we co-wrote half of the songs with other writers who we admire. We didn’t set out to write these songs with them for our album, but these songs really fit where we are in our life experience right now, so we included them on our album.”

Check out Blue Mother Tupelo performing live at Hippie Jack’s

 

If a couple can make music together, that is this good… Can you imagine how special their marriage must be? Ricky and Micol also enlisted some of the finest songwriters in Americana and contemporary blues, including Ryan Tyndell, Kim Richey, Will Kimbrough, JP Williams, and Jeff Coplan – to lend their talents and pens to some the tracks. Through their energy-filled, skillfully textured, and love-infused music, Blue Mother Topelo easily takes the listener away to a vibrantly lush place filled with warm breezes, cool rivers, and fun-loving people… and that place is their home. (Man… I’ve got to move to Nashville!)

Blue Mother Tupelo ~ “Livin’ The Good Life”

 

The Davises release their fourth studio album, Only Sunshine, on May 20. So, get it and take a long drive. You’ll treasure every minute of it!

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Tommy Womack Video Interview – Now What!

Photo by Gregg Roth

Back in 2007, when Tommy Womack released his solo CD There, I Said It! he had pretty much given up on his dream of making it in music. He recorded There, I Said It! without the intention of even releasing it. He didn’t think that people would want to listen to him whine. He was surprised to find that things were quite the opposite – people related to his tales of middle age stress, self-doubt and disappointment.

I got the chance to sit down and talk with Tommy (via Skype) about his latest release Now What! that picks up where There, I Said It! left off only with a more optimistic feel to it. Oh yeah, Tommy’s still singing about cigarettes, sex, pot, and life on the road, but he seems more at peace with it all.

Before you watch the following video, I feel obligated to tell you the story behind this little technological adventure…

I had made arrangements through Tommy’s publicist and manager to interview Tommy on the morning of January 31, 2012. I was ready for it; I’d been testing some software that seemed to work good for recording and editing Skype video calls. Sometimes things aren’t always as they seem…

The interview itself went great. Tommy and I covered a variety of subjects and talked for about 15 minutes. Later that day I converted the video so I could start doing the post-production work on it. When I opened the file, I couldn’t believe it… There was no video captured at all from Tommy’s end. All the audio was there (thank God), but just video of me. And I thought, well shit, who in the hell would want to watch this? They’d be stuck looking at my ugly mug the whole time they listened to Tommy talk.

I got in touch with the software developer in Australia – which in itself was kind of weird because they’re in the future – anyway, they sent me an update insuring me that it should work. I tested it some more and all seemed cool. Now, I’m not a religious person, but I really prayed that Tommy’s publicist and agent would give me a second shot at the video interview. They did. We appropriately conducted take two of the interview on Groundhog Day. I called Tommy up, fired up the recording software, and all was cool… for about eight minutes, then, well… you’ll see.

Damn it! Just when we were getting into the new album! That’s when I think a solar flare blanketed North America… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

My next post will have a more in depth review of Now What!

 

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