A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Al Price
Ever notice how different recordings become treasures for different reasons? Maybe it's the vocals, with ringing harmonies. Other times, it's the instrumental work, framing each song in the proper light. Or perhaps it's the imagery of the writing, and the stories that are told. Still others carry a prevailing mood or texture throughout the entire album.
INHERITED ROAD by Kimberly M'Carver can't be pigeonholed into just one of these categories, for all of them apply. Kimberly cites Nanci Griffith, Townes Van Zandt, Eric Taylor, and Guy Clark as musical influences. Her vocals have been favorably compared to Emmylou Harris's and Nanci Griffith's, and her band is an acoustic A team which includes Nashville Bluegrass Band's Stuart Duncan, Dobro legend Jerry Douglas, and Viktor Krauss from Lyle Lovett's band. They work to give the album an acoustic feel which permeates both the up-tempo songs such as "This Cold Night" and "Alimentar Mi Alma", and the ballads such as "Dancin' Fools" and "Midnight Angel."
The songs chosen are, with one exception, written by Kimberly. They are
written skillfully enough to tell a tale while providing the necessary
imagery to put you there. A good example is "Dancin' Fools," the tale of a
couple who for forty years have fallen in love all over again each time
they get on the dance floor:
He was dark and as loose as his brand new jeans, with boots shining bright as crow's eyes, Her hair was curled and smelled as fresh as a summer rain, without a word, he took her hand and first prize. Now she's so light on her feet as light as the air, As he twirls her around on the floor, Then they smile, and they laugh as the crowd gives way, just like forty years before.Put Stuart Duncan's fiddle behind that, and you've got something mighty special.
INHERITED ROAD is an album to sit down to and play, and just listen to the stories. I could listen to them over and over again. And I will. It's a treasure.
[edited by Paul Yamashita]
Copyright 1996, Three Rivers Folklife Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior written permission and attribution.