Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Very nice juxtaposition of hard dirty rock and roll with some nice folk/country numbers. The Whiskey Charmers have the ability to float effortlessly through both styles. A credit to their professional playing and Carrie Shepard’s great vocal abilities. Lawrence DeVersa has really nice twangy guitar style that he varies on each song depending the feeling and vibe. He also has the ability to play that ambient Dick Dale surf style guitar which works extremely well on these songs.
So let’s get to the music. There are a good number of up tempo songs on The Valley. Desert (Track 1), The Valley (Track 2), and Dirty Little Blues (Track 5) are among the most up tempo and rocking numbers on the release. The other songs do a fair amount of rocking as well, but at a slower pace. It is a good balance between quicker and slow on The Valley that makes it a good listen.
Melody (Track 3) starts out with a nice guitar fill that sounds a lot like Clapton in Lay Down Sally. Some nice picking and slide work that has the proper dosage of twang. Shepard’s vocals are truly serene on this track and the backing vocals aren’t too shabby either.
The closer on this album is the perfect bookend. Warnings (Track 11) is a wonderful number that incorporates Carrie’s melodious vocals with the incredible steel guitar work of DeVersa. I don’t want to forget the nice acoustic guitar parts by Carrie that also add a lot of nice texture to this fine song.
The Valley is a keeper for sure. I know, there have been a lot of keepers this year. Don’t blame me because this has been a banner year for Americana and roots music so far. We are the beneficiaries of all this talent. Put The Whiskey Charmers on the list.