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Cary Shields

Radio's Playin'

Review by Gary Hill

This set has quite a range of sounds. I suppose roots music is an underlying element throughout, but this is nothing close to monolithic. It is very retro in nature with songs that touch on folk, country, blue grass, rock, R&B and more. Each piece here is unique, and as a set this is intriguing and effective.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Run Rabbit
Finger-picked acoustic guitar serves as the backdrop for the vocals early here. This is a folk-styled piece that is energetic and fun as it starts. It gets some real intricacy at points, too. Other instruments are heard further down the road as the tune turns toward bluegrass. The backing vocals really bring that part of it to bear the most. .
In the Morning
There is plenty of roots music in the mix here. That said, this feels like a song that might have been released in the early 1970s. It has some electric rocking grooves, some country music and bluegrass in the mix. This is a lot of fun.
Capers & Wine
This is very much a retro styled rocker. It has some R&B in the mix. It's one of my favorites here. This again feels like it would have been at home in the early 1970s. There is plenty of country here, too.
Radio's Playin'
I'm reminded just a little of Cat Stevens for some reason here. This has a good helping of country influence, largely brought by the female vocal. The song is quite strong, but you expect that of a title track, right?
Peaceful Hum
Harmonica at the start creates a Bob Dylan connection to me. The vocals are not Dylan-like, but the song definitely is. Mind you, I'm talking the early pre-electric Dylan. Noisy electronics come in over the top later, bringing almost a shoegaze vibe and intensity. I suppose it leans toward dream-pop. That elements closes the album.
 
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