Sway is a melodic country group centered in Gina Quartero's vocals and Perry Martin's deceptively attractive guitar work. The first cut on Let It Roll is a bit flat and monotonic, but that's made up for in the follower, the title track, a mellow country rocker that's almost anthemic. In the liner photos, Quartero looks to be the third Wilson sister and her forte indicates that the gentler side of the Heart vibe, once it's been detoured through the wheatfields and wayside farms, is her real home. She handles the bulk of the writing and definitely knows what she's doing while the rest of the group—a trio of gents on lead guitar, bass, and drums—adopt a mellow tempo and approach. Perry Martin's particularly adept, a great fingerpicker and strummer who chooses extremely mellifluous chord progressions with highly complementary leads. The more I listen to him, the more I'm reminded of the kind of choices Mick Ralphs displayed on the first Bad Company LP and that Loz Netto and Mick Dyche made throughout the entire Sniff 'N The Tears catalogue—not that the sounds are at all akin but the depth of thought given to precise context and coloration is unusual.
This is the sort of MOR country that should easily make it to radio venues now that Poco, Orleans, and the always small roster of country rock groups are pretty much history. Replacements are needed, and Let It Roll perfectly fits the bill by crossing over from the rockier element to the balladic. No doubt it will find ready reception on cowpoke air—Sway has exceeded what Juice Newton and others attempted but never quite attained to. Nothing here is flashy or thunderous, just laid back and comfortable, exactly what good MOR should be. You won't feel like jumping up and running down to the Longbranch Saloon to get toasted with the gang nor hootin' 'n hollerin' on the corner but rather just settling more comfortably into a chair, tapping your fingers, listening, and smiling.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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