Gretchen Phillips

Togetherness

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Under the aptly titled Phillips & Driver moniker, Texan rocker Gretchen Phillips and New York City pop singer David Driver draw a classy, countrified sound for their first album, Togetherness.

Their choice in covering songs by Bad Company, Barry Manilow, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Scud Mountain Boys captures the kitschy cool eccentricity of this pairing, and they impressively pull it off without imitation. Phillips' gentle, Emmylou Harris-like vocals will convince you, too. If not, Driver's soft crooning style on Badfinger's "Day After Day" will undoubtedly do so. Togetherness literally breathes new life into these tracks, because Phillips & Driver are smooth and crafty in their approach. These are contemporary tracks, after all. From the haunting melodies of Leonard Cohen's "Joan of Arc" to the piano-heavy glow of Barry Manilow's "Could It Be Magic," Phillips & Driver's heartfelt sensations are impressively new. Driver's own swarthy homage to '70s TV star Paul Michael Glaser on "Oh Starsky" clearly accepts such hidden emotions, as does Phillips' rendition of the Julie Andrews musical hit "I Loved You Once in Silence." As Togetherness comes to a close, the pop/rock remake of Vince Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" lightens the mood, and Phillips & Driver's underlying good character comes full circle. Togetherness is Phillips & Driver's crush, their storybook of love's ever-changing spectrum. Welcome.

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