Monday, January 5, 2015

CD: TED & ALICE MILLER - Small Talk

TED & ALICE MILLER
Small Talk
Small Talk - Away - Birds and Bees - No Kindness - Settle Down - Every Time - Somewhere With You - Drive - Fly The Kite - Sweat On Me
 
I've listened to some other music by this delightful couple, and this album is all self-composed originals, and I find it very interesting.  They're on the cutting-edge of 'Americana' on this CD, however some of their previous work has been very acoustic and very early country and rural in style.  Lots of electric rhythm guitar on this one.  I'm always surprised at the very good recording quality coming out of the upper Midwest.  Certainly much better than the pre-disposed and pre-determined 'sound' that emanates from Nashville these days.  Ted and Alice did this recording at the Pony Creek Studios in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  I'm impressed, the man on the board knows what he (or she) is doing.  The mix is precise, and right where it needs to be.  The blending of Ted and Alice's voices, mandatory that the mix be good, is also precise and right where it needs to be. It's also very interesting to me to find such good musicians working in a Midwest studio that are so very good at what they do. Ted plays lead and rhythm guitar as well as lap steel and bass.  He does all of this extremely well.  He doesn't let the 'drums' lead the beat or the sound, he lets that happen in the sound he produces from his guitar.  I'm pleasantly surprised to hear the drums in the background instead of drowning out the vocalist.  In a lot of 'new' Americana music the drums usually wind up way out front.  Not so on this unique album.  Super good mix here.  Alice has a very distinguished and pretty voice, and covers lead, harmony, and backing vocals with a very nice lady's touch.  Chad Konrad is the cool drummer I'm referring to, and he also plays keyboard.  Carly Christensen on harmonica adds a finishing touch here and there, also well mixed and shows up in just right places. "No Kindness" fetches some super nice acoustic guitar and slide guitar.  Very original and very entertaining and very good. What Ted is writing sounds very personal to me, but that's where good writers are usually coming from, writing about what they actually know about.  He reminds me a bit of a young Hank Williams, writing what he feels, writing what he knows, writing what he wants, writing from his heart, writing with passion, writing with truth, writing with ability.  Isn't it amazing how young talents, with the gift of music, find this on their own?  Five stars for Americana here.
 
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine
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