Telluride to Tennessee

The Woodys

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Telluride to Tennessee Review

by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

The Woodys -- Michael and Dyann Woody -- work really hard on Telluride to Tennessee to evoke another Woody: Woody Guthrie, that is. The sepia cover of the couple and an old jalopy looks as though it could've been snapped in Oklahoma in 1937 and the opening track, "Greener Pastures," references "Pastures of Plenty." Be that as it may, the Woodys' sound and approach are closer to folk-country than the austere one-man/one-guitar aesthetic of Guthrie. The songs, likewise, fall more into singer/songwriter and modern country categories than social concern. "Hillbilly at Heart," for instance, rolls along to a lively mix of mandolin, harmonica, and fiddle, telling the tale of a country boy gone to the city where he buys a Nudie suit and turns up his electric guitar. However, like a country song of old, in his heart he knows that he'd really rather be back home listening to Grandma playing the fiddle. Four songs into Telluride to Tennessee, the Woodys provide a better clue to understanding where they're coming from when they cover Chris Hillman-Gram Parsons' "Sin City." This is alternative country, reaching back for the musical values that contemporary Nashville has abandoned, and nicely done. Unlike a lot of alternative country, however, the Woodys' sound does remind one of good traditional country without ever sounding old-fashioned on Telluride to Tennessee.

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