Sweetwater

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Tres Chicas joins the talents of four highly musical individuals: Whiskeytown alum Caitlin Cary, Hazeldine's Tonya Lamm, and Glory Fountain's Lynn Blakey -- who comprise the group -- and alt-rock pioneer Chris Stamey, who produced this debut disc. Fans of the Chicas will hear echoes of their musical affiliations in the original songs, while Stamey's arrangements, not surprisingly, often edge into roots-rock territory, as on "Desire," which expresses yearning for a feckless lover "Well, Trying's been out of the country / and I can't reach Hoping at all". Musically, the tune suggests Dylan in country mode, with a soft organ bed, a churchy piano interjection, pedal steel, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Tres Chicas joins the talents of four highly musical individuals: Whiskeytown alum Caitlin Cary, Hazeldine's Tonya Lamm, and Glory Fountain's Lynn Blakey -- who comprise the group -- and alt-rock pioneer Chris Stamey, who produced this debut disc. Fans of the Chicas will hear echoes of their musical affiliations in the original songs, while Stamey's arrangements, not surprisingly, often edge into roots-rock territory, as on "Desire," which expresses yearning for a feckless lover "Well, Trying's been out of the country / and I can't reach Hoping at all". Musically, the tune suggests Dylan in country mode, with a soft organ bed, a churchy piano interjection, pedal steel, twanging electric guitar, and Cary's pining fiddle solos. On a cover of Loretta Lynn's "Deep as Your Pocket," a stomping beat, a fuzzed-out bass, and Stamey's stinging electric guitar retorts support the Chicas' tight, bluesy harmonizing. But Stamey knows when to pull back on the reins, too. The distorted guitar on "Heartbeat" is a discreet bit of ballast that drops away to let the gals sing plaintively against a pulsing drumbeat, before rising once again to drive home the sentiments in the chorus. Cary's sorrowful vocal carries a heart-wrenching take on Lucinda Williams's "Am I Too Blue," with the minimalist instrumental backing of bluegrass outfit Chatham County Line. A generally somber affair about love gone sour, Sweetwater closes on a rousing note: a bluegrass rave-up on George Jones's "Take the Devil out of Me," a jubilant, energizing sign-off on an album that is one of the unexpected delights of 2004. Mas Chicas, por favor!
All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Sweetwater is Tres Chicas' recorded debut, but it's not like they're new at this. Old pals from the Raleigh, NC, area, Caitlin Cary Whiskeytown, Tonya Lamm Hazeldine, and Lynn Blakey Glory Fountain finally found some time to record a batch of their own harmony-twined songs, and juice the set with a few covers. Appropriately, it's their voices that lead listeners to Sweetwater -- they mesh effortlessly if need be, but are also careful supporters of each lead vocal turn. Songwriting is divvied as democratically, and draws on the varying country, folk, and rock styles that the three have explored. Now, this isn't the Thorns. Tres Chicas aren't trying to wow listeners with technically pristine tributes to classic rock. Perhaps because of its light harmonies and gentle acoustics, Sweetwater occasionally treads water in some more placid eddies. But Chris Stamey's typically offhanded production always keeps it home-soundproofing casual, and well-placed augmentation -- a bowed bass here, a mandolin there; the easy turns of a full-complement Chatham County Line on Lucinda Williams' "Am I Too Blue" -- keeps things moving along at a warm evening pace. The opening title track and "Heartbeat" -- both from Blakey's pen -- are subtly powerful reconstructions of country and rock elements, while "Desire"'s clever wordplay is heightened by twangy lead guitar, Cary's fiddle, and a cool torch song break. "When Was the Last Time," with its plaintive piano and gorgeously shifting harmonies, is a definite highlight, and the fun Loretta Lynn cover "Deep As Your Pocket" finds the three friends trading brassy lines over Stamey's chattering, fuzzy guitar. As casual as it wants to be but never more than a bend away from gorgeous, Sweetwater is as enjoyable a listen as it undoubtedly was to make.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/29/2004
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • UPC: 634457205628
  • Catalog Number: 2056
  • Sales rank: 295,278

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sweetwater (3:59)
  2. 2 Heartbeat (5:23)
  3. 3 Foot of the Bed (4:03)
  4. 4 Deep as Your Pocket (2:40)
  5. 5 Am I Too Blue (4:28)
  6. 6 Desire (4:34)
  7. 7 When You Sleep (3:46)
  8. 8 When Was the Last Time (4:36)
  9. 9 In a While (4:06)
  10. 10 Take the Devil Out of Me (2:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tres Chicas Primary Artist
Chris Stamey Guitar, Electric Bass
Dave Wilson Guitar, Group Member
Lynn Blakey Guitar, Vocals
Caitlin Cary Violin, Vocals
Jen Gunderman Piano, Accordion, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer
Michael Krause Guitar, Electric Guitar
Greg Readling Bass, Group Member
Aaron Oliva Bowed Bass
Skillet Gilmore Percussion, Drums
John Teer Mandolin, Group Member
Chandler Holt Banjo, Group Member
Tonya Lamm Guitar, Vocals
Clay Merritt Acoustic Guitar
Technical Credits
George Jones Composer
Loretta Lynn Composer
Lucinda Williams Composer
Chris Stamey Composer, Producer
Lynn Blakey Composer
Brent Lambert Mastering
Mike Daly Composer
Caitlin Cary Composer
Mary Gunn Graphic Design
Anne Tkach Composer
Shawn Barton Composer
Tonya Lamm Composer
David Menconi Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A must have

    This is a great album. A must have for any alt country fan...or anyone who just enjoys great music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Super blend of three alt.country/rock female voices

    Though they've been singing together for five years, this trio of alt.country/rock vocalists (Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown, Lynn Blakey of Let's Active and Glory Fountain, and Tonya Lamm of Hazeldine) has only recently found their way to a commercial release - and its completeness is stunning. The ease with which their voices fit together brings to mind the sort of harmony found by CS&N, with leads slipping seamlessly from one vocalist to another. Imagine what Kelly Willis would sound like if she had two equally strong singers with whom to trade verses and backings, or if the Dixie Chicks' image wasn't so glammed up and their vocals not so fully dominated by Natalie Maines. ¶ Better yet, all tres of the Chicas write, apart and together, providing a disc full of songs that match up to their finely selected covers of Lucinda Williams' "Am I Too Blue," Loretta Lynn's "Deep as Your Pocket," and George Jones' "Take the Devil Out of Me." Particularly fetching originals include Blakey's country rock title tune, Cary's waltz-time "Desire," and the group-written "When Was the Last Time." Chris Stamey's production is typically uncluttered and elegant, putting the focus on the voices, with dabs of instrumental talent from the group and selected guests. Tres Chicas' debut not only captures their musical harmony, but their deep personal friendships. Such kinship (rather than just group membership) is rare to begin with, but connecting it to a studio recording - and on a debut! - is a feat accomplished by just a lucky and talented few.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews