Album Reviews

Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl – Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl

(727 Records) UK release date: 15 March 2004


The duo responsible for this eye-catching name are from Bisbee, Arizona. Amy and Derrick Ross are the twosome, applying their tuneful and wistful melodies to an appealing mini-album format.

The approach is refreshingly basic. Ross’ vocals, sometimes multi-layered, are backed by untempered piano and classically flavoured guitar – no drums present (or needed) here. Despite the short duration of the album there is many a lyrical insight to glean from it. Juneberry’s opening has Ross singing “you believe I’m drunk again on turpentine” at the outset, progressing quickly to “do you believe anything at all”.

The mood is softly reflective, and Ross has a nice vocal timbre with a whimsical, folksy edge coming through at times. When multi-tracked, her harmonies are crystal clear but the texture is never overcrowded, leaving an open, intimate sound.

The lyrics will make you smile too – Ross ruefully sings “I woke up underneath the bed again today” on Blue For Two, and when singing of a spinning wheel in Bottle Rockets she asks the wheel to “please spin us out of here”.

Please Die is the most substantial song on the record, a central interlude with Hammond organ effect set to a pledge by Ross to “keep myself company”, and complemented by a piano melody in the outer sections that bears a big resemblance to Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. The darker Vinyl has some unusual vocal effects to stress “they’re all alone”, a kind of macabre waltz played out with piano.

The close recording benefits the raw guitar sound on Dirt In My Mouth, with intimate and personal vocal once again from Ross. As the following, more vigorous, Asleep At The Wheel takes hold it’s possible to draw parallels to The Sundays, despite the singer’s American twang being more in evidence.

All too soon the record is over, blown away like a cobweb, and all that remains are the quirky vocal flights of fancy. It may only be 22 minutes long, but Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl is highly enjoyable and proof (if it were needed) that good things often come in small packages.


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Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl – Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl