Monthly Archives: December 2015

When Silence Is Not Golden

Yesterday, on the floor of the House, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked for a moment of silence to honor the victims of the horrific massacre in San Bernardino. That’s nice, congressman, bit it’s a hollow gesture, especially  when you remain silent on the epidemic of gun violence that’s afflicting our nation: 351 so far this year, according to the Washington Post. More than one each day. But the GOP insists there’s nothing they can do, more interested in stirring up fear about immigration and refugees than the real obscenity– the couple allegedly responsible for yesterday’s tragedy bought their military-grade assault weapons legally.

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Big Noise, Big Voice

From the first note of Julie Miller’s “You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast,” a hearty growl that built to a joyous scream, Wynonna and the Big Noise demand your attention. An intimate, private show (at the Hotel Cafe) to get the word out for their upcoming, self-titled album, due out February 12 on Curb Records, her pride and delight in performing this new material is evident; the twinkle in her eyes and big smile were present throughout the short, half-hour set. “I don’t fit into any format,” she explained, but with  thick, twangy guitar (something you might have heard at Capitol Studios– just a few blocks to the north-east–for a Buck Owens sessions), the gnarled snap of pedal and lap steel guitars, and relaxed yet insistent rhythm section (anchored by her husband and producer, Cactus Moser, on drums), the Big Noise  sound like modern honky-tonk.

The songs are bluesy, sexy, and tough in equal measures; “it’s me, honest and true,” she said. There are barroom laments (“Jesus and the Jukebox”), tender ballads (“You Are So Beautiful, with Darrell Leonard lending an aching trumpet line), and flat out rock “Ain’t No Thing.”  Each of them gives her a chance to show off her emotional and musical range.  And for all the impressive power of her voice, her vocals remain intimate and personal-scaled, especially on their clear-eyed take of Raphael Saadiq’s “Staying In Love.”. They’re stories you could imagine hearing from someone on the next barstool, and I can’t wait to hear more.

 

The album is available for pre-order here.


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