A Loose Affiliation of Saints & Sinners
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., July 26, 2002
A Loose Affiliation of Saints & SinnersSessions From the Hotel San Jose, Rm. 50, Austin TX (LASAS) The concept of this collection of songs looks fine on paper. Get some of Austin's finest singers, songwriters, and musicians in a hotel room, turn a tape recorder on, and see what develops. One would think that with folks like Malcolm "Papa Mali" Welbourne, Guy Forsyth, Sarah Brown, Gurf Morlix, Carolyn Wonderland, Jud Newcomb, and Chris McCarty (best known for "Swingtown" and his other collaborations with Steve Miller) participating, it would turn out pretty special. Unfortunately, that's not the case. While there are a couple of interesting and inspired moments here, for the most part it's a rambling mess. McCarty, who arranged the Sessions, is a fine songwriter with a great deal of success, but he's not much of a singer, and the tunes he brings to this party are cliched and overly long, especially set opener "Horse and Rider," which goes nowhere after three minutes and lasts six. Carolyn Wonderland's work stands out as she shows off her smokey voice on gospel shouter "Jesus, It's Gonna Be You," and the sultry folk blues of "I'm Walking Home." Then there's Guy Forsyth doing the acoustic blues thing he does so well on "Time To Move." This might have been a fun time while it was happening, but these Sessions were probably best left unheard by the rest of us.