The Austin, Texas-based band comprises bassist and band namesake Melissa Carper, guitarist Beth Chrisman, and the brilliant fiddle and rhythm guitar player Jenn Miori. On this new album, co-producer Cindy Cashdollar plays pedal steel, National resophonic, and baritone Tricone. Telecaster authority Bill Kirchen spices the rockabilly “Foolish Ramblin’ Man” and adds baritone Tele on “Ooh Baby,” an original from Carper. Cashdollar and Kirchen are spectacular – of course.
But this album belongs to Carper, Chrisman, and Miori. Each also has at least one show-stopping lead vocal – Carper on the romantic slow-dance “Ooh Baby” while Miori breaks your heart singing Floyd Tillman’s “I Gotta Have My Baby Back.” Miori also dispels the misbegotten notion that rhythm guitar is less important or requires less dedication than great lead playing; it’s about being a guitar player. She and Carper are the obvious reasons this band lives so deep in the groove, but Chrisman is an equal, if a more subtle one.
If the Gibson Brothers and Cherryholmes ring your bell, then this record is for you. If otherwise, the Carper Family should put you on the proper side of things as Mother Nature intended.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s November. ’13 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.