Cheap Vodka Rain CD - Willie Breeding

A discís worth of seventies era folk-rock is on offer with the self-released debut full-length from Brooklynís Willie Breeding. Cheap Vodka Rain follows up a 2006 EP, Grey Skies. The songs here feature some harmonies from sister Erin, conjuring up the glory days of Emmylou and Gram, and thereís a laid-back approach to writing, arrangement and delivery that leans heavily on that first golden age of folk-rock. Breeding has open affection and a natural feel for his material. His backing band is tight and knowing, particularly Helen Gassenheimer on fiddle and Thomas Eaton double dipping on mandolin and pedal steel work. Why, then, does Cheap Vodka Rain fall short of the mark for which itís most clearly aiming? Itís puzzling. Breedingís voice, while not remarkable, is surely serviceable in the delivery of these eleven tunes. Iím thinking the tunes themselves just donít live up to the other ingredients. While thereís not a real nose-holder in the bunch, neither do any of them really reach out and engage the listener.

By Michael Meade




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