DOWNHOME GIRLS…Eilen Jewell: Down Hearted Blues, Whitney Rose: Rule 62

Girls with some grit…

Eilen Jewell sings, plays guitar and Hammond organ with a rootsy band that mixes C&W with bluesy rockabilly. The team of Jason Beek/dr-was, Shawn Supra/b, Jerry Miller/g-mand, Steve Fulton/p-banj,  Jonah Shue/fi and Curtis Stigers/sax(!) sound down home with dirty fingernails as they support the Deborah Harry-toned vocalist. Some Link Wray guitar licks bounce around on “It’s Your Voodoo Working” and a Carl Perkins twang swings well on “I’m A Little Mixed Up “ and “Walking With Frankie.” Jewell sardonically strolls on “Another Night to Cry” and is down  home at the local VFW with acoustic guitars on the title track and the homespun “Nothing In Rambling” while taking you to the Grand Ol’ Opry during “The  Poor Girl’s Story” and delivering a teen drama with Stigers’ tenor sax on “You Know My Love.” Cumberland Gap special

Texas based Whitney Rose features a sweet ba-doop voice as she presents music that includes 50s rockabilly, saxy R&B as well as old timey C&W. The core band of Paul Deakin/dr, Jay Weaver/b, Jen Gunderman/key and  Raul Malo/g is augmented by occasional sax, fiddle and steel strings depending on the mood. The team fits well, as the two stepping pieces like “I Don’t Want Half” and “Arizona” were made for dancing at the VFW, while “You’re a Mess” and You Don’t Scare Me” feature some Link Wray-tone guitar licks with attitude. Aaron Till’s fiddle and Chris Scruggs’ steel guitar grip the heart on the tender “You Never Cross My Mind” while a rich trip to the Grand Ol’ Opry sets you up for the twangin’ “Wake Me In Wyoming.” Rose blossoms on the boogie-ing “Time to Cry” and the picking and grinning of the back porch cozy “Trucker’s Funeral.” She knows how to tell a story, and you’ll end up believing her.

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