×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Bloom, Red & The Ordinary Girl
     

Bloom, Red & The Ordinary Girl

by Tres Chicas
 
On their second album as Tres Chicas, Caitlin Cary, Tonya Lamm, and Lynn Blakey go beyond side-project status to full-fledged band status, fleshing out the two constants from their debut -- impressive songcraft and beautiful singing -- with scintillating fusions of country, pop, and folk. Recorded in London with white-soul-savvy producers

Overview

On their second album as Tres Chicas, Caitlin Cary, Tonya Lamm, and Lynn Blakey go beyond side-project status to full-fledged band status, fleshing out the two constants from their debut -- impressive songcraft and beautiful singing -- with scintillating fusions of country, pop, and folk. Recorded in London with white-soul-savvy producers Neil Brockbank and Robert Trehern, Bloom, Red & the Ordinary Girl evinces more of a pop flavor than 2004's Sweetwater, thanks to some tasty electric keyboard work, a more propulsive rhythmic attack, and some lovely choruses that smack of classic Tin Pan Alley approaches. Echoes of Sheryl Crow and Lucinda Williams permeate lolling romantic ruminations such as "Shade Trees in Bloom," which features not only an ethereal lead vocal but some of the most piercing harmonies anyone's likely to find on record this side of the late Carter sisters. Another highlight is the captivating "Still I Run," which bridges the miles between Memphis and Appalachia with its rich organ burbles, synthesized wash of strings, tart lead guitar interjections, piercing harmonies, and crying lead vocal. The gals go country-rock with the gentle stomp "The Man of the People," a scabrous put-down of a duplicitous, hypocritical ne'er-do-well. Southern gospel -- fueled by fiddles and surging organ -- stokes the fire of the opening entreaty, "Drop Me Down." The Chicas may have recorded their sophomore effort across the pond, but they effortlessly, soulfully put across a most American musical message.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Tres Chicas, the country-rock band that includes North Carolina natives Lynn Blakey (Glory Fountain), Caitlin Cary (formerly of Whiskeytown), and Tonya Lamm (Hazeldine), was supposed to be a one-off. Their 2004 debut, Sweetwater, garnered solid reviews and folks turned out in droves to the small venues they played. The trio is now a going concern and Bloom Red and the Ordinary Girl picks up and takes off completely into the stratosphere where that album left off. They left American shores to record this, and enlisted Robert Trehern and Neil Brockbank to produce (the pair work with Nick Lowe a lot). Consequently, Brockbank and a slew of other mates like Bill Kirchen, B.J. Cole, Bob Loveday, and Steve Marwood help out the core band -- Cary on violin, Blakey on acoustic guitar, and Lamm on electric guitar -- with the addition of Geraint Watkins on piano and organ (on loan from the Van Morrison band), Matt Radford on bass, and Trehern on drums. The music is simply the finest set of country-rock love songs you're likely to hear. It's tough, mysterious, and utterly feminine. The trio's voices are way upfront, presiding over a set of originals and covers that are deeply moving, even startling, in their earthy elegance. The opening cut "Drop Me Down" comes from the North Carolina band Lou Ford, and in Tres Chicas' reading of it, could easily have been done by Gram Parsons & the Fallen Angels and Emmylou Harris with a gospel choir. To be truthful, it's devastatingly beautiful. Another cover, "If You Think That It's All Right," which is the book-end piece that closes the disc, is by '70s pop-country star Johnny Carver. Here, strains of pub rock, Nash Vegas countrypolitan, and skiffle blend and smear, held together by vocal performances that are breathtaking. Another cover, "My Love," written by Watkins, is a mid-tempo, folk-country weeper that could be the finest cut on the set. It's lyric is so visceral and simple it could have been written by Scottish poet Robert Burns. Tres Chicas, with sparse percussion to accompany Watkins' piano-organ and background slab-back acoustic guitars, weave a soundscape behind the instruments that brings this song of ardor and devotion home. But these women are fine songwriters in their own right, too. Blakey's "Red," is a country waltz that comes from the heart of the mountain valley, it echoes the British folk tradition of three centuries ago. It's a weeper that will make listeners smile with its grimacing anger. Cary's "Stone Love Song" is indeed that, but it's a swing number that evokes smoky lounges, jukeboxes, and a pool table, but more than these one can picture in the mind's eye couples swaying together on a parquet dancefloor, getting closer and closer to one another. Martin Winning's clarinet enters in the chorus, it transcends the country genre almost entirely except for the slightly out-of-tune fiddle, which is covered by strings and tasty electric guitar lines. The piano solo brings jazz into the picture, and the song just drifts into the nocturnal void where lovers entwine under the drifting moonlight. Picture the Andrews Sisters singing a country swing tune and you begin to get it. Tres Chicas have thrown down the gauntlet to the entire Americana genre. They had to go to Britain to make this record, because they could never have achieved the subtlety needed to make this sound in the States. But in doing so, they've created an utterly American album. They blend and weave styles and modes and colors, effortlessly and in concert with one another. The singing blows away virtually everything in the genre, and the execution here offers a watermark that will be tough to beat. Essentially, they've transcended Americana and gone into the realms where country music has always sought to go -- to a plain with equal footings in pop, jazz, and swing -- and Tres Chicas have achieved these realms gracefully.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/07/2006
Label:
Yep Roc Records
UPC:
0634457209923
catalogNumber:
2099
Rank:
191255

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tres Chicas   Primary Artist
Geraint Watkins   Organ,Piano,Electric Guitar
Bill Kirchen   Guitar
B.J. Cole   Pedal Steel Guitar
Bob Loveday   Violin,Viola,Human Whistle
Nick Lowe   Bass Guitar
Mark Creswell   Guitar
Robert Trehern   Drums,Vibes
Lynn Blakey   Acoustic Guitar
Steve Marwood   Guitar (Nylon String)
Martin Winning   Clarinet,Flute
Caitlin Cary   Violin,Melodica
Matt Radford   Bass
Jack Brockbank   Cello
Tonya Lamm   Electric Guitar
Steve Donnolly   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Ecki Heins   Violin

Technical Credits

Neil Brockbank   Producer,Engineer
Kenny Paterson   Engineer
Robert Trehern   Producer
Mary Gunn   Graphic Design
Jack Brockbank   Engineer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews