Sunday, August 23, 2009

CD of the Day, 8/23/09: Barnett/Gurley-Evidence

Jangle lovers and lovers of harmony, you're in for a treat. Mike Barnett, the Missourian whose 2006 release Nowhere Tennessee was featured on this site, has teamed up with kindred spirit Dennis Gurley to release Evidence and answer the music question, "What if the Everly Brothers were jangle poppers?"

Barnett on his previous albums has managed to meld a sound that's equal parts George Harrison/Badfinger and Steve Forbert/Bobby Sutliff, and with Gurley, a similarly-styled roots rocker on board, the synergy here is on a level with what Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg did with The Red Button. The proceedings begin with the laid-back, silky-sounding "Elusive Smile", fronted by Barnett, followed by Gurley's "Need a Little Sunshine", a jangly number that also features some fine slide guitar work from Barnett. "She's a Mystery" is a wonderful acoustic-based number that gets double duty on the disc, with both Barnett's fully-produced version and a version of the song with Gurley on vocals as a bonus track.

The guys really hit their stride with the best track on the disc, the aptly-titled "Jingle Jangle", in which they trade vocals and harmonies awash in 12-sting guitars and harmonica. Pure jangly bliss. Elsewhere, the spunky "Hard Thing to Do" brings to mind the recently-reviewed Brian Jay Cline, "A Little at a Time" is positively Byrdsian (Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era Byrds that is), and "You Saved Me" is top-notch balladry from Barnett. The album closes with Gurley's excellent "Somebody Else", another jangly standout. Hopefully, this review will be all the Evidence you need to avail yourself of this understated treat.

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Here's a video for "Somewhere Else", peformed live:

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