Wrenwood Live is the new 3-song EP from Charleston-based King City Records act, Wrenwood. Recorded during a live session at Ocean Industries Studios on April 20, 2013, the EP is now available for purchase at the band's live shows and on Amazon and iTunes.
Opening with a kazoo solo and the feverish guitar work of Dan Rainey, the first track on Wrenwood's new EP , "Apples and Oranges", would be right at home on the Squirrel Nut Zippers record Hot. If your head isn't bobbing and your foot isn't slapping the floor, someone needs to check you for a pulse. With its hot jazz vibe, it's easy to lose yourself in this song about a pair of uniquely matched lovers. "Whiskey and water / bourbon and Coke / I bring the laughter / you bring the jokes / Send me a signal / it's time to go / Hiding in the afterglow," Corbett sings in her best Tin Pan Alley trill. The flip to a half-time tempo at the end is a brilliant move - it gives the song some room to breathe, while showcasing Rainey's impressive guitar finger work.
Equally impressive are the talents of Rainey's band mate and girlfriend, Dallas Corbett. She picks up the guitar and plays rhythm; she also plays bass. She's even been known to shake a mean tambourine. But here, it is Corbett's voice that steals the spotlight. Singing with a maturity beyond her twenty-six years, this modest frontwoman leads the band through the beautiful and heartbreaking "Cheap Shots". With a voice that is at once smoky and yet smooth and elegant as honey, Corbett will have you believing that this is an old country classic, with its tender word play and pedal steel. Wrenwood really hits its stride with this one, and while I would be remiss in categorizing them as a "country" band, this crooner is definitely the pinnacle of the Live EP.
The last song on the disc, "Somethin' Special", transports listeners to the wooden stage of a gritty roadhouse. The chugging bass and punchy drum fills keep a rock steady beat, while Rainey's searing guitar cuts through the inevitable smoke in the air; his solo near the two-minute mark is classic rock n roll. And Corbett gives another stellar performance, this time channeling the likes of Alannah Myles with her throaty beckon to "Just gimme somethin' special."
While the brevity of Wrenwood Live leaves me wanting more, it is perfect in that it allows every facet of Wrenwood to shine. As songwriters, the band has really come into its own, and I'm eager to hear what Wrenwood's future holds.
Find Wrenwood online:
w ~ www.WrenwoodMusic.com
f ~ www.facebook.com/WrenwoodMusic
r ~ www.reverbnation.com/wrenwood