Caitlin Cary

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Caitlin Cary

While You Weren't Looking (Yep Roc) While You Weren't Looking proves that Ryan Adams isn't the only talented ex-member of Whiskeytown. On her first full-length disc, Caitlin Cary, who played fiddle and Emmylou Harris to Adams' Gram Parsons, displays a noteworthy talent for writing songs and then singing them in a way that's distinctive and unaffected. Cary utilizes a multitude of genres, including rock, country, folk, and pop, to express herself, and does so with surprising lyrical intensity and melodic sophistication. While You Weren't Looking was produced with a master's touch by Chris Stamey, who also worked with Whiskeytown, and the disc surrounded Cary with some of her former bandmates: Mike Daly on guitars and Skillet Gilmore on drums, and other special guests including fellow North Carolinian Mitch Easter, Jen Gunderman (formerly of the Jayhawks), and Tonya Lamm of Hazeldine. But Cary's talents are the prime attraction here, especially her lovely, clear vocals, which at times recall a young Linda Thompson, and her lively stories and songs, which are enchanting and genuine. Tunes like the spunky folk pop "Shallow Heart, Shallow Water," the fiery, twangy "Thick Wall Down" and the Celtic-inspired "The Fair" stand out, but there isn't a weak song among the 11 on this fine solo debut. (Thursday, March 14, Antone's, midnight)


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