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There's an offbeat, off-the-cuff quality that makes Amy LaVere's Anchors & Anvils easy to like. First, there's the choice of songs, like the opener, "Killing Him," with LaVere sweetly singing that killing a love interest isn't enough to make the love go away. This, of course, wouldn't be very funny if a man sang it, but LaVere's straight reading and the melancholy fiddle accompaniment find the right balance. Paul Taylor's "Pointless Drinking" falls into a similar groove, a funny-sad song married to a '50s-style melody. The simple arrangements add to the album's left-of-center appeal, with steel guitars, fiddles, and guitars whipping up a lazy mixture that falls somewhere between old rock and country with perhaps a touch of jazz thrown in. At one moment, LaVere and company cover Tex-Mex ("Overcome"), the next, funky rock ("People Get Mad"). Even on a fairly straightforward song like "That Beat," the band brings a carefree joy that commingles well with LaVere's torch singer vocal. Unlike many singer/songwriters, LaVere has pulled good songs from a variety of sources, and even when she borrows a song from a familiar figure like Bob Dylan, she borrows one of his lesser-known songs ("I'll Remember You"). Anchors & Anvils' off-the-cuff qualities help separate the album from run-of-the-mill singer/songwriter product, and because of this, make LaVere more appealing than the average singer/songwriter.
Performance CreditsAmy LaVere Primary Artist,Vocals,Upright Bass
James Luther Dickinson Wurlitzer,Toy Piano
Bob Furgo Violin
Jimbo Mathus Guitar
Jimbo "Hambone" Mathus Guitar
Chris Scruggs Steel Guitar,Hawaiian Guitar
Jason Freeman Guitar
Jason Freeman Guitar
Paul Taylor Choristers Bells
Tommy (T-Bone) Burroughs Mandolin
Technical CreditsDavid Schnaufer Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Carla Thomas Composer
James Luther Dickinson Producer,Audio Production
Brian Dixon Art Direction
Ward Archer Executive Producer
Rachel Dennison Composer
Kevin Houston Engineer
Amy LaVere Composer
Paul Taylor Composer