LOCAL CD REVIEW: Uveges and Pauline team for country CD destined for fame
When: 8 p.m. Friday (9/30/11)
Where: Stargazer’s Theatre and Event Center, 10 S. Parkside Drive
Tickets: $15 with CD/free with pre-purchased CD shown at the door; www.stargazerstheatre.com or 476-2200.
For many years I’ve been honored to count myself as both a fan and friend of local folkie Joe Uveges.
Therefore, it was with great anticipation that I received his latest project, a collaboration with Stephanie Pauline, a relative newcomer to the Colorado Springs music scene.
With four solo CDs of her own, an engaging personality, and a strong, true voice, Stephanie is an emerging force in the commercial country world. “When the Smoke Clears” may just catapult these two troubadours to a more prominent place on the national stage.
To fund their ambitious vision, Joe and Stephanie raised $6,000 through CD pre-sales and donations on Kickstarter, allowing them the luxury of using A-list musicians and producers in Nashville. The result is an exquisite blend of Americana styles ranging from folk and bluegrass to western swing and alternative country with even a little bit of rock ’n’ roll thrown in for good measure.
Joe and Stephanie trade off lead vocal duties on songs that come off as calculated to please, but not contrived. Joe’s folk roots are tempered by Stephanie’s country sensibility, and vice versa. Catchy melodies, pleasing harmonies and intelligent lyrics make this release a sure bet to please almost any listener.
Although Joe and Stephanie are not shy about their religious convictions, rest assured that there are no preachy songs on “When the Smoke Clears.” The CD opens with “Build a Barn,” a song that hearkens back to a day when neighbors would help neighbors (“Come on, build a barn with me/There’s nothing we can’t do together if we try”). From there the disk transitions to the bluesy swing of “I Don’t Dance (Unless You Dance With Me).”
Perhaps the chemistry between Joe and Stephanie is nowhere more apparent, however, than on the tender romantic ballad “Start With I Love You” (“If we get disconnected/Or if something else goes wrong, my dear/Well, start with I love you/That’s what I really need to hear.”) “God Bless Country Radio” appears destined for heavy airplay on CMT, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a presidential candidate (of any political stripe) adopted the title track for a campaign theme — it’s a rousing, optimistic anthem about facing and conquering adversity.
From beginning to end, “When The Smoke Clears” is a delight to the ears — as good as any music coming out of Nashville today (and I mean that in a good way).
Steve Harris hosts “Grass Roots Revival” 8 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays. on KRCC (91.5 FM.)