Wellspring

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Simultaneously gruff and intimate, Caroline Herring's second album, Wellspring, offers 11 tracks of Southwestern acoustic folk-based country with appropriate focus on her obvious songwriting talent and her equally powerful voice. Like her soulful country contemporaries Kim Richey, Shelby Lynne, Patty Griffin, Herring's breathy sensuality punctuates her themes of love, loss, and heartache, and her understated vocals, while never over-reaching, often swell and break under the strain of the song's own emotion. The leadoff track, "Trace," sets the pace for the entire record, and Kelly Willis unobtrusively lends her vocal talents to the album's highlight, "Jewels." The inclusion...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Simultaneously gruff and intimate, Caroline Herring's second album, Wellspring, offers 11 tracks of Southwestern acoustic folk-based country with appropriate focus on her obvious songwriting talent and her equally powerful voice. Like her soulful country contemporaries Kim Richey, Shelby Lynne, Patty Griffin, Herring's breathy sensuality punctuates her themes of love, loss, and heartache, and her understated vocals, while never over-reaching, often swell and break under the strain of the song's own emotion. The leadoff track, "Trace," sets the pace for the entire record, and Kelly Willis unobtrusively lends her vocal talents to the album's highlight, "Jewels." The inclusion of the parlor blues number "Texas Two Step" is a little incongruous amid the rest of the straight-ahead folk songs, but ultimately proves the versatility that Herring is capable of.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/10/2003
  • Label: Cd Baby
  • UPC: 677967030229
  • Catalog Number: 5637322369
  • Sales rank: 118,552

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Trace (3:15)
  2. 2 Mortified (3:57)
  3. 3 Jewels (3:45)
  4. 4 Magnolias (4:08)
  5. 5 Colorado Woman (4:02)
  6. 6 Mistress (5:01)
  7. 7 Texas Two Step (2:57)
  8. 8 MGM Grand (3:11)
  9. 9 The Way That You Are (4:29)
  10. 10 Heart and Soul (2:58)
  11. 11 Tacoma Blues (4:10)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Caroline Herring Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Kelly Willis Vocals
Rich Brotherton Dulcimer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Glass Harmonica, Mandola
Mike Maddux Accordion
Marty Muse Pedal Steel Guitar
Riley Osbourne Organ
Paul Pearcy Percussion, Drums
Matt Shultz Percussion
Billy Bright Mandolin, Mandola
Bryn Bright Electric Bass, Cello, Vocals, Acoustic Bass
Eamon McLoughlin Fiddle, Viola
Technical Credits
Rich Brotherton Arranger, Producer, Engineer
Matt Shultz Engineer
Jerry Tubb Mastering
Caroline Herring Arranger, Composer
Sarah Bork Hamilton Cover Photo
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hard-hitting songs are both literary and earthy

    Originally from Mississippi, with a Master’s degree in Southern Studies under her belt, singer/songwriter Caroline Herring found herself in Austin, Texas in 1999 pursuing a Ph.D. in American Studies. It soon became apparent to Texans that she has a keen intellect, aptitude and talent for writing hard-hitting songs which have both a literary foundation and earthy sensibility. A paradox, perhaps? No, just soulful. With the support of the Blue Corn label, her rise in the Austin music scene has been fast. Her 2001 debut, “Twilight,” was an immediate hit, and she was named Austin’s Best New Artist in early 2002 by the local newspaper and Austin Music Awards. At that time, she worked for Texas Folklife, accompanying traditional Tejano musicians to performances and shows. Marriage took her away from Austin in 2002, following her new husband's academic pursuits to Washington D.C., and currently to Atlanta. Caroline Herring's southern music flows with influences of country, folk, blues, gospel and bluegrass. Caroline's sophomore release, “Wellspring,” recognizes the significance of two key sources of strength in her life – Austin and her husband. Concerning the former, she says, “Texas, Austin specifically, was the source from which so much good came for me.” Like the springs of central Texas, her music bubbles clean, pure and coolly refreshing. Concerning her husband, in her self-penned “Magnolias,” she sings “we roughed through the wellsprings of our early days…” The changes in Herring’s life may explain why there are more relationship themed songs on “Wellspring.” Being deceived and “strung along,” is the tale in “The Way That You Are.” Caroline's gift for poetic balladry is best illustrated in “Mistress,” the story of an East Texas slave and her relationship with a plantation owner. “Mortified” is about “figuring out why we fail and fall in ways we never wanted to, but knew we would have to.” Searching for the explanation may be elusive, especially as long as “the crumbs from the table kept me satisfied.” She’s also adept at incorporating geographical and historical references and imagery to reinforce her messages. “Trace” makes reference to the Natchez Trace, a trading route in Mississippi, while “Magnolias” mentions her love of Austin and the Frio. In “Colorado Woman,” she sings of tumbling with the dustbowls across the Oklahoma plain, but “tonight I want to be a strong Colorado woman, I don't want to be your Mississippi girl. There are times I need you to hold onto, and there are times I got to hold on by myself.” Besides Herring on vocals and acoustic guitar, “Wellspring” includes Rich Brotherton (guitars, mandola, glass harmonica, dulcimer and vocals), Bryn Bright (bass, cello, vocals), Billy Bright (mandolin, mandola), Eamon McLoughlin (fiddle, viola), and Jeff Plankenhorn (dobro). Other accompanists put percussion, accordion, pedal steel and organ into the mix. Produced by Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen), this album balances catchy arrangements with the need to keep Herring’s gutsy alto in the forefront. From the album’s first vocal strains to its last, one never loses interest in her appealing vocals. The impressionistic songs offer a fair amount of quick, memorable lines. The instrumental accompaniment is first-rate without going overboard in any attempt to steal the show. Herring has now fully developed a personalized signature sound that revolves around well-crafted original country and folk music, with stories and messages that are very compelling. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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