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Peggy James

Paint Still Wet

Review by Gary Hill

This is an album that's a bit hard to pin down in terms of musical style. There is a lot of country and folk here, but there are plenty of other things included, too. The overall texture is retro in nature, feeling tied to a bygone era. There are a couple places where this doesn't work so well for me, but overall it's largely effective. The track "San Antone" should be of special interest to Genesis fans as long-time live guitarist Daryl Stuermer provides the guitar solo on the number.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Let's Fly Away
Folk and country music seem to merge here. Old time rock and roll and jazz are also in the mix, though. This is a mid-tempo tune that works well.
Wiser
An acoustic driven tune, this is loaded with Americana, but there is also an art rock kind of edge to this in some ways. The echoey electric guitar solo later is classy.
Holdin' Hands
This song doesn't really work for me. It has a lot of old school rock and roll in the mix. There just seems to be an awkward edge to it.
San Antone
I dig the country meets Americana with a Latin edge feeling of this song. The guitar solo is provided by Daryl Stuermer and really has a lot of that Latin feeling to it.
Can't Do Lonely Anymore
While there's a country angle to this, the cut has a real old-school jazz vibe at its core. This is all class. I dig the guitar solo on this.
Sailor Knots
There is a folk-styled concept at the heart of this. It feels sort of dreamy in a soaring way. This turns a bit more rocking as it continues.
Lighter Than a Feather
I like the intricate musical concept behind this. The track has a real 1960s folk rock sort of texture to it. It gets more powerful as it works toward an almost progressive rock arrangement later. This is particularly effective and one of the highlights of the disc.
Head Over Heels
More of a hard rocking song, this has some cool harmonica in the mix. It has an almost psychedelic edge, but is more or less a blues rocker at its core. It's another highlight of the disc.
Nothin's The Same
A mainstream rocker, this has a cool groove to it. It's another effective piece. I like the old-time rock and roll edge of the piece.
Fallen Star
With a healthy helping of Americana and folk rock, this is a strong cut. In fact, I'd consider it to be one of the highlights.
Scarlet and Gold
This piece has a lot of contrast. The opening section seems a little awkward to me, but when it powers up to the soaring chorus movement, it really gels and works so well. The non-lyrical vocal part is powerful, if a bit dated. That said, it's dated in more of a nostalgic than stale way. The guitar solo section is all class, too.
Gettin' Serious
An Americana based rocker, this is a lot of fun. I'd consider this to be one of the highlights of the set, making it a great choice for album closer.
 
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