Sunday, September 19, 1999

Yankee Grey won't be tamed

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Just because Yankee Grey's national debut is filled with spunky attitude, hot fiddle, tight vocals and is on the same label as the Dixie Chicksdoesn't mean these ex-local guys have morphed into the Dixie Chucks.

        The heart of Yankee Grey's country remains rock 'n' roll, not bluegrass. But like that other band, fiddle is Yankee Grey's most eloquent instrumental “voice.”

        Fiddler Joe Caverlee holds back on the tightly rocking hit, “All Things Considered.” But with the next song, “Another Nine Minutes,” an ode to the snooze alarm, he moves to the front and stays there. He keeps the band's strong 10-song CD, which is in stores Tuesday, rooted in country, even as some melodies make Shania Twain sound like Loretta Lynn.

        Yankee Grey's specialty is country rockers that hide heartbreak in Tim Hunt's confident vocals, Mr. Caverlee's virtuoso violin, the band's heavy backbeats and soaring harmonies. “All Things Considered” sets that tone, and it's continued in “I Should Have Listened to Me”.

        “Tell Me Something I Don't Know” is a bluesy strut about a guy skeptically watching his wife leave him one more time. The band really cuts loose on the full-tilt title song, covering much the same hormonal ground as the Chicks' “Sin Wagon.”

        The slow stuff's just as good. The elegant pop ballad “This Time Around,” about a guy who wants “the chance to be the man she used to see in him,” is enhanced by delicate fiddle. “That'll Be Me” offers love in true country style, but is quickly overshadowed by the next cut, “There's Only One”

        That's the biggest crossover candidate here. Like the country songs in Notting Hill, it would be perfect for 98` or the other harmonizing boy bands. A beautifully sung and arranged pledge of fidelity (“We only get one life and I want to spend mine with you.”), it's custom-made to become a wedding standard.


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- Yankee Grey won't be tamed