Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Two of the most beautiful voices I have heard in a long time. Cate Davison and Alisyn Reid compliment each others’ singing so well that they turn two voices into one. A Rowdy Faith is the partnership combining Alisyn’s Americana with Cate’s Southern Gothic style. They are both natives of Arkansas. I think they want to keep it a secret, but it seems like there is something brewing in Arkansas. There is quite a bit of good music coming from down that way.
This music is quite an amalgamation of many different styles. There is definitely a backdrop of country and bluegrass, but also a good sized helping of 90’s alternative, blues, reggae, and a little bit of Broadway flare. I am again astounded by the quality of independent music that is available. A Rowdy Faith is another in a long list of tremendous musicians putting out extremely high quality music.
I have mentioned many times that I am a sucker for great female voices. I am also a big fan of songs that contain slide guitars. So much to my delight, Little Willy (Track 4) contains both elements. The singing is superb and the slide guitar work is blistering. My compliments to Gene Reid, who plays a pretty mean slide. This song is a bit deceiving. It seems like a happy song, but has a bit of a dark twist. It is about a woman who falls hard for a guy, only to be killed and buried by said guy. Even though the song is dark, it is brilliantly written by Alisyn Reid:
When I was young and careless with illusions of time
You came to sit beside me and I spoke to you my mind
I wanted you to marry, and I knew when I first saw
Your handsome face, your charms and grace
And you said, “Come along.”
I followed you up mountains, so steep and so high
And crossed down those valleys, though my feet ached and cried
What did you say when I saw your ways, and longed for my life?
“A new dug grave, here, come this way, my silly little bride.”
That’s pretty heavy, don’t ya think? Some of the best songs ever written are dark. So don’t get too caught up in the subject matter. They frame it beautifully and do a nice job of adding irony with the upbeat music and slide guitar.
Another really lovely song is Sweet Wine (Track 1). It is a folk, acoustic number that really highlights the heavenly voices of Davison and Reid. They do some really neat tempo changes in the chorus that show their vocal talents and add a tremendous amount of interest and depth to the song. This is a very romantic song about the love of a significant other and how wonderful that is. Their singing is very convincing.
I could prattle on and make a compelling case for the other seven songs on this album. Suffice it to say that all of the other songs are heavy weights as well, and there really isn’t a weak link in this collection. So get on the ground floor and say you knew of A Rowdy Faith way back when before they got discovered. Yes, I said it.