Chip Taylor And Carrie Rodriguez
Duos are tricky. Some voices just don't work well together, like Johnny and June Carter Cash. They always reminded me of a bullhorn and a frog trying to sing together. Others voices meld so perfectly that from the very first note they sound as if they were born to sing together. Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez have a synergy that makes beautiful music. Along with their killer vocal harmonies, Chip Taylor writes great songs and Carrie is one hot Texas-style fiddler. Add in John McGann on acoustic guitar and mandolin, Jim Whitney on upright bass, Dave Mattacks on drums and percussion, and you’ve got a recipe for a stellar CD.
Ten of the twelve songs on Let's Leave This Town are written by Chip Taylor. The second cut "Him Who Saved Me" typifies Taylor’s style, combining religious imagery with topical rustic and secular references. At his best, Chip Taylor’s work is in the same league as two other great Texas songwriters Townes Van Zant and Guy Clark. Carrie Rodriguez’ vocal style has equal parts Nancy Griffith, Emmylou Harris, and Dar Williams, mixed into a Texas-style gumbo. Her fiddle work calls up Johnny Gimble and Chubby Wise, with just the right hesitation and syncopation to seriously swing.
If a space alien appeared and demanded to know under penalty of immediate vaporization what Texas music was all about I'd give him a copy of Let's Leave This Town confident that after two songs he’d be reduced to a pulsating pile of contented jelly. Damn, this album almost makes me wish I were a Texan.