Silver Shoes
"Another Time Around"
Mid Ear Records

Silver Shoes
“Another Time Around”
Tom Jennings

Timeless… ‘Old school Americana’

The Lone Star State has a notorious reputation for hard-touring independent artists. Silver Shoes, veterans of the Texas/Southwestern Americana scene bonded over The Beatles, the harmonies of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris and other classic pairings. Their last two acclaimed albums “Old Friend” and eponymous “Silver Shoes” featured full band instrumentation. On this new ‘all acoustic’ release the duo, Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan, is joined by Texas fiddler Mead Turner, who is the third voice, adding a strikingly haunting allure to this eclectic collection of songs.

Silver Shoes has a knack for always finding the right mood for each song running the gamut from the Appalachian influenced opening track “Waterbound” to the folk inspired arrangement of The Beatles “Mother Nature’s Son”. The listener is treated to timeless genre bending old-school Americana that hearkens back to the best of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The reverential mood set by John on the Bobby Charles classic “Tennessee Blues” is purely beautiful, an inspirational longing for peace and quiet. The harmony vocals and fiddle enhance this track giving it a thought provoking character. Maureen’s treatment of Townes Van Zandt’s “I’ll Be Here in the Morning” is equal parts honesty and humility. Hearing this sung by a woman casts a new light, giving the song a wistful quality. Their readings of Gene Clark’s “Full Circle” and John Sebastian’s “Stories We Could Tell” remain faithful to the country folk souls of each.

Silver Shoes’ penned “Easter”, along with Mead’s “Prelude in A minor” opening is the standout track on the album. Maureen’s rich, intimate voice and Mead’s captivating fiddle play off each other with almost a call and response immediacy. “You’re the One I Need”, is a good time love song with a traditional folk blues twist featuring fiddle and bottleneck guitar. The up-tempo “Gibson Land”, a close harmony country folk tune is a paean to the famous guitar maker, and the stunning instrumental “Sunrise on the Canyon” showcases Mead Turner’s exquisite fiddle playing. Don Richmond and Jack Saunders, co-producers from their previous “Old Friend” album, are back at the helm, along with Rick Richards on drums. This is the work of trusted collaborators who fall into a groove when they get together.

In all, “Another Time Around” is time well spent and serves as a testament to Silver Shoes inspired playing, soulful writing, and the ability to interpret a lyric.

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Tom Jennings
Houston TX

Silver Shoes
“Another Time Around”
 by Nathan Bernier

The new album from Texas duo Silver Shoes, John Finnigan and Maureen Finlon, delivers a laid-back, acoustic style Americana. The music evokes the wide open spaces of Texas to the sun bleached towns of Arizona and New Mexico, and up north to the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

“Another Time Around” (Mid Ear Records) is a mix of originals and covers with an easy feel and sparse arrangements.

Finnigan and Finlon perform on acoustic guitars while their vocals richly harmonize with a straight-forward honesty. The recording includes fiddle player Mead Turner.

Silver Shoes laid down the initial tracks with co-producer Don Richmond in the Rocky Mountain town of Alamosa, Colorado. Then they headed back to Texas and finished all the music with Jack Saunders at White Cat Studio in Houston. The album was mixed by Nashville engineer Mike Poole (Patty Griffin, Loretta Lynn, Robert Plant).

“It's such a magical kind of mix that Mike does,” Finlon says, “It just gives the songs a whole new identity and a whole new life. When you get the final mix back, it’s like, ‘I love it!’"

In the New Year, Silver Shoes plan to bring their folk-influenced country back on the road with scheduled dates across the American Southwest.

“There’s a real acoustic kind of influence out there in the Southwest, and it’s always been with us,” Finnigan says. “The songs are always the main focus.”

Nathan Bernier
Austin Texas

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CD 2003