While Caitlin Cary’s solo albums have made it abundantly clear she can make splendid music by her lonesome, there’s no arguing that she collaborates very well indeed, as her work with Whiskeytown and Tres Chicas has proven. For Begonias, Cary teamed up with another gifted singer/songwriter, her friend Thad Cockrell, and the two mesh beautifully on these sessions. Cockrell’s voice bears a slight resemblance to Cary’s old vocal partner Ryan Adams on this set, and his lonesome tenor blends perfectly with the sweet ache of Cary’s instrument; the beauty of their harmonies alone would make this an album worth hearing, but that’s hardly Begonias’s only virtue. Cary and Cockrell wrote most of these songs together, and they’ve conjured up a handful of gorgeous meditations on love and its absence, and “Whatever You Want,” “Two Different Things,” and “Something Less or Something More” reveal a quiet strength and passion that’s nearly heartbreaking in its power. The album doesn’t rock out much, but “Second Option” shows they know how when they’re of a mind, and the backing combo offers marvelously sympathetic support, especially Pete Finney and Pat Buchanan on guitars and Logan Matheny on percussion. And Cary and Cockrell’s take on the old Percy Sledge chestnut “Warm & Tender Love” is so beautifully realized that it’s enough to make you forget the truly great original. Begonias is an album that was produced on a modest scale, but its beauties and rewards are tremendous, and one can only hope this is the first in a long series of collaborative efforts between this two very compatible artists.
mp3 VBR~193 kbps | 70 MB | UL
ne would be hard pressed to find a more eagerly awaited or hugely hyped indie release in 2002 than Caitlin Cary’s While You Weren’t Looking. Being a former member of Whiskeytown and band mate of eccentric but prolific tantrum-prone media darling/ whipping boy Grammy nominee Ryan Adams requires a performer to carry more baggage than a camel caravan. While You Weren’t Looking proves Cary can carry the load and then some. The spotlight is on and she proves she belongs right in the center of its brightest illumination.There’s no point in being coy or making vacuous, clever Whiskeytown comparisons. While You Weren’t Looking is an outstanding musical declaration of Cary’s independence. Its strengths are Cary’s highly literate and emotionally rich (in a brainy Richard Thompson way) songwriting and her intimate, pure voice. With primary backing by former Whiskeytowners Mike Daly (guitars), Mike Santoro (bass), Cary’s husband Skillet Gilmore (drums), former Jayhawk Jen Gunderman (keyboards), and a smorgasborg of the Raleigh-Durham area’s finest players (Brian Dennis, Andy Church, Chris Stamey, Greg Readling, Tony Lamm, Lynn Blakey, Mitch Easter), the music is rootsy but rocking, highly melodic and moody, frequently involving deft tempo changes and subtle shifts of emphasis. There is the occasional suggestive Irish lilt.