Monday, January 26, 2009

Traditional, Gentle Country from Williamsburg

I was catching up with a lovely couple, Jimmy Sullivan (no not the dude from awful Avenged Sevenfold) and Mary Bragg, Jimmy a very congenial fellow, and Mary a bright, smiling star, the other night at the Yelp Inaugural Ball. It's rare that you find two hospitable Southerners in Williamsburg, but they've been making music together for years now and I was fortunate enough to chat with them about it and some recent gigs like their January 7th gig at The Bitter End and upcoming headliner at Living Room on February 12th.

More recently their collaborations turned into Mary's 2007 album, Sugar. You can find several tracks on Mary's MySpace page currently. Full of older, well worn Americana/country songs, Mary's voice has a real lift and air to it, a pristine quality that is at the forefront of a subdued, lean production. A wonderful cut, "Let Me", really has a nice build from a gentle spareness to a softly rumbling finish. There are changes of pace, like the whaling guitar and Jimmy's funkified, bopping basslines in a song like "Sweet Skin".

The state of pop country has always been thriving no doubt; it's efforts from people like Jimmy and Mary that help round out things with a less less over the top, excessiveness and a real focus on arranging effective songs.

You can check out Mary on the MySpace link above or her official site where you can purchase both her CDs. You can also download Sugar on Amazon here. For more on Living Room in the Lower East Side, go here.

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