The Piners

Nashville Pine

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The Piners are a trio from Maine who offer up a healthy dose of traditional country on Nashville Pine, but with the '70s style of groups like Dave & Sugar and The Kendalls. "Little Fences" is such an example, a mid-tempo track with ample pedal steel guitar and honky tonk swagger. But it isn't the only style the group can do and do well. "Welfare Line" is more mountain music, albeit polished up quite a bit. It also contains a certain jam band conclusion that is interesting. One slight problem, though, is that it sounds more like a collection of good songs instead of a cohesive album. "Why" features Boo Cowie on lead vocals and is an early, stellar moment. In certain spots though, holes are quite apparent. "Baby Don't Want Me Back" is a soulful ballad that Tim McGraw could make a hit, but here it generally misses the mark. "Take The Wheel" has a certain Springsteen flare to it, whether it's in the piano or the upbeat chorus. Cowie takes the listener for a ride on "Jalapeno," the only roadhouse rock attempt on the album. The song isn't lyrically deep though, that much is certain. "Blue Train" has a nice swing quality to it with Haakon Kallweit performing lead vocal duties. Michael Webb's piano adds a finishing touch to the tune but unfortunately it runs out of steam two-thirds of the way through. A bit more self-editing would help the record, especially on the overtly long fade on "Learn To Love Again." "Step Aside" is rather quirky, moving from a Nick Lowe sound to a paltry "new" country sound: the song is perhaps the weakest here. Thankfully "Bittersweet" returns full-circle to the down-tempo traditional country which opens the album. It's an album that spans the country genre,and does a decent job.

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